Robert Crumb

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does his racsim make you feel uncomfortable ?

anthony, Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link


JM, Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

anyone who takes something like the 'let's eat some nigger hearts!!' strip as an indication of his racism is way off, these are probably the same people who think tom tomorrow is evilly conservative.

ethan, Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

ethan is 50% right. i *do* think that robert crumb is a racist. i *do* think he's a misogynist. i still think he's a genius. the really uncomfortable part is that he may be a genius -because- of his ability to express the little black droppings at the bottom of his heart. (part of it, anyway. the skill as a draftsman and innate mastery of cartoon language is the other.)

jess, Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

how is he racist?

mike hanle y, Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

he's racist in the same way that everyone is racist - or has had a racially motivated thought - at least once in their life, consciously realized or not. he just doesn't bother hiding it, or whitewashing it. (ho ho, bad choice of words.) at some point -like always- i'm going to catch shit from someone here for my praise of crumb, but i'm used to it (meaning i have most of my defenses already planned.)

jess, Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

As a woman, I never felt outrage at his more 'offensive' strips about women. I don't know why...I don't find them threatening. There are a lot of reasons for this - one is that Crumb doesn't exempt himself from ridicule. So it comes off as a confession or a revelation of what really exists rather than an act of agression that is intended to hurt. I had trouble relating to Trina Robbins' reaction in the film - I'm almost glad he did what he did (that's not all he's about, tho), and I found it weirdly compelling, in a voyeuristic fashion, I suppose. Also, there's something inherently burlesque in comics that leads you to expect the ridiculous: they convey impossible, satirical and ugly things in a way no other narrative medium can.

Kerry, Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I just watched Crumb, the movie, and found it to be unbelievably great. I've never really read any of his comics, though. What's a good place to start?

Justyn Dillingham, Friday, 1 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

fantagraphics is running a series of "complete crumb comics"...i think they're up to vol. 14 now (it's the last one i have anyway.) i want to say "start at the beginning," but the later volumes are probably better...and once they start covering his 80s Weirdo pieces, all the better. (it will be interesting to see if anyone brings up "when the goddamn niggers take over america/when the goddamn jews take over america" in this argument. they're pretty fucking indefensible.) in fact the "complete crumb comics" is one of the major sticking points in the arguments of people like trina robbins and roberta gregory -against- crumb: that women have to fight like hell to get into print when this stuff gets reprinted all the time...blah blah. i can't tell if they're being massively deluded or disingenuous. a woman cartoonist of crumbs caliber would have no trouble getting into print (it's a pretty small world all things considered...the comics world that is), whereas crumb had to basically midwife an entirely new publishing movement into being to accomodate his own work. (it's a bit like a two-bit horn player railing against, oh, charlie parker: gregory's argument in particular falls down because she -is- such a feeble cartoonist, while at the same time her "vision" would have no place in comics without the underground comix slowly morphing into todays "alternative." she's a "child of crumb" and i bet that rankles like hell.)

side discussion: does anyone else feel crumbs sketchbooks are as important as his "real" comics work?

jess, Saturday, 2 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I admire his willingness to dredge out the ugliest bits of his own psyche and expose them to the air to watch them wither--you know, "I'm having a horrible thought; instead of dismissing it, why not pull it up so everyone including me can get a good hard look at it?" I also think he's a phenomenal artist (later work more than earlier work), just in terms of drawing stuff that's totally convincing and also totally in his own style. And yet I don't actually enjoy reading almost any of his stuff, and don't tend to seek it out.

Douglas, Saturday, 2 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

heh in Ghost World seymour is selling a copy of Crumb's jugband's LP

mark s, Saturday, 2 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

Is the big coffee table book on Crumb a good way to get an exposure to his work? Or would the reprints be the way to go?

nickn, Monday, 4 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

The Crumb Coffee Table bk has lots of great art, natch, plus some of his not-so-hot paintings/sculptures, but doesn't really do the comic strips justice. If you can find it, the 'Carload O' Comix' bk has a good selection of all his classic U/G stuff, while the more recent 'My Troubles With Women' collection from Knockabout/Last Gasp brings together some of his best autobiog '80s/'90s strips from 'Weirdo' etc., inc. my absolute fave Crumb story, 'Uncle Bob's Mid-Life Crisis'. Knockabout also published a 'Blues' comp, which I haven't seen, but which almost certainly includes his wonderful biographical strip abt Skip James (the 'star' of 'Ghost World'.) In addition to the complete Crumb series, Fantagraphics have also put out 'Fritz The Cat' and 'Mr. Natural' collections; the former is pretty damm essential, I'd say. The 'Beginner's Guide To Kafka', illustrated by Crumb (including strip adaptations of 'The Hunger Artist' etc.), has some of his very best drawing, and should still be easy to get hold of.

I read a recent interview w/ Terry Zwigoff where he suggested that Crumb's relocation to France has pretty much killed Bob's muse - he's just too damm happy these days!

Andrew L, Monday, 4 February 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link

two years pass...
Imbecile American People! Robert Crumb is best! The number one of art and alternative comix!!

Ricardo Brito, Wednesday, 28 July 2004 10:23 (fifteen years ago) link

it will be interesting to see if anyone brings up "when the goddamn niggers take over america/when the goddamn jews take over america" in this argument. they're pretty fucking indefensible.

i don't think they're indefensible at all. pretty obvious satire, though.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 10:47 (fifteen years ago) link

satire of what? how? to what end?

jess otm

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 14:35 (fifteen years ago) link

um, satire of racism? it's been a while since i've read either strip, and i remember thinking they were fairly heavy-handed and not among his best work. but i'd be amazed if anyone tried to argue that this WASN'T satire (and i say this as someone who's not entirely comfortable with some of his work). how are they "indefensible"?

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 14:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Imbecile American People! Robert Crumb is best! The number one of art and alternative comix!!


martin m. (mushrush), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 16:35 (fifteen years ago) link

he's addressing us from his space ship obv

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 17:04 (fifteen years ago) link

How can you even muster up the energy to be offended by a man who rides around on the backs of women?

David Allen (David Allen), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 17:25 (fifteen years ago) link

What do people think of his recent New Yorker pieces?

AdamL :') (nordicskilla), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 17:27 (fifteen years ago) link

i actually don't like crumb's style of drawing much, but i aknowledge his mastery.

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 17:28 (fifteen years ago) link

two years pass...
Update on Crumb's youngest brother Maxon:

Steve Shasta (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 3 October 2006 22:45 (thirteen years ago) link

thats what i call sweet music (nice tunes but england 1934 is better)

-- (688), Tuesday, 3 October 2006 23:04 (thirteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Update on Crumb's youngest brother Maxon:

From that article:

His room at the Winsor Hotel, home for the past 26 years, is filthy. [...] Books on poetry, art and computer programming sit in piles; [...] There's [...] various computer parts[...].

Does anyone know or have any ideas about what his interest in computers and computer programming is?

RR, Thursday, 13 May 2010 00:03 (nine years ago) link

england 1934? what's that? (x-post)

Mr. Snrub, Thursday, 13 May 2010 01:50 (nine years ago) link

ten months pass...

Crumb interview tonight and next week on Antique Phonograph Program on WFMU. The promo implies that they will be sticking pretty closely to the topic of collecting old 78s. Part 2 next week will include Crumb performing with the East River String Band.

The Louvin Spoonful (WmC), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 16:04 (eight years ago) link

awwwwwesome. john from the east river string band is a real swell dude too.

one dis leads to another (ian), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 17:41 (eight years ago) link

must listen to this later

your generation appalls me (Dr Morbius), Friday, 8 April 2011 23:43 (eight years ago) link

It was really good. At least part of it was videotaped -- there are three video segments at the playlist page.

The Louvin Spoonful (WmC), Saturday, 9 April 2011 00:42 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...


Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 01:47 (five years ago) link

ian, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 05:28 (five years ago) link

nine months pass...

Οὖτις, Thursday, 15 October 2015 22:04 (four years ago) link

Crumb is a great example of how works of art can be made by obsessive people who make almost everyone else uncomfortable. He just doesn't have a mental filter to screen his socially awkward thoughts from view. If he weren't able to generate art from his obsessions, he'd just be a creepy social outcast.

Blind Lemon Extract (Aimless), Thursday, 15 October 2015 23:39 (four years ago) link

"Peter Bagge's comics are very funny stories about young punk rock-type kids, a very sympathetic portrayal of their world."

Not sure from this that Crumb has actually read any of Bagge's comics.

everything, Thursday, 15 October 2015 23:43 (four years ago) link

He just doesn't have a mental filter to screen his socially awkward thoughts from view.

It seems so genuine and spontaneous from Crumb, no matter how troubling the words. With someone like Trump, the same thing seems calculated to me.

clemenza, Thursday, 15 October 2015 23:48 (four years ago) link

tbh robert seems like the most well-adjusted and normal person in his family

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Thursday, 15 October 2015 23:49 (four years ago) link

It would be impossible to say otherwise for anyone who's seen Zwigoff's film.

clemenza, Thursday, 15 October 2015 23:55 (four years ago) link

crumb otm about the ingrained sexism in hippie (as in all other) culture

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Friday, 16 October 2015 00:02 (four years ago) link

this threads quoted in the r crumb pocket guide apparently

diamonddave85​ (diamonddave85), Friday, 16 October 2015 00:12 (four years ago) link


brimstead, Friday, 16 October 2015 00:38 (four years ago) link

just a bit of fun

pplains, Friday, 16 October 2015 02:27 (four years ago) link

that interview is terrific

“Your character in your work is more vulnerable than that—brutally honest, but human. I don’t see misogyny in your work,” I told him.

“It’s there,” Mr. Crumb replied.

playlists of pensive swift (difficult listening hour), Friday, 16 October 2015 02:35 (four years ago) link


johnny crunch, Friday, 16 October 2015 02:37 (four years ago) link

lmao @ pocket book

flopson, Friday, 16 October 2015 11:43 (four years ago) link

Charles is such a strange figure, the way he looms over R's psychology is sort of tragic. That Crumb repeatedly insists he was one of the greatest cartoonists ever due to the stuff he did as a kid/teenager is o_0

Οὖτις, Friday, 16 October 2015 15:46 (four years ago) link

i will read any john waters or robert crumb interview.

scott seward, Friday, 16 October 2015 15:56 (four years ago) link

ian, Saturday, 17 October 2015 04:54 (four years ago) link

That comic sums up the main attraction of Crumb's work to me - his ability to succinctly describe some messed up thing you keep doing/thinking and can't stop doing/thinking, even though you know it's messed up and that you'll feel way better if you stop doing/thinking it.

"Tell them I'm in a meeting purlease" (snoball), Saturday, 17 October 2015 09:26 (four years ago) link

Somebody once said he did a comic confessing to rape, really hope that's not true but do you guys have any idea what comic might be meant? If it was true I would have thought it'd be brought up more regularly instead of the decapitation fantasy stuff.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 17 October 2015 10:59 (four years ago) link

i'd guess the conclusion to the "memories are made of this" comic that's excerpted in the interview

diamonddave85​ (diamonddave85), Saturday, 17 October 2015 15:05 (four years ago) link

Is that record collecting comic before or after the one Pekar did about when he abruptly stopped listening/buying jazz? I don't recall if Pekar got rid of his collection but I know he got back into listening to jazz, or sounds like he did from this really great interview.

I think most people who get rid of their collections will feel great for a while but probably end up rebuilding it, but smaller and more sensibly and probably regret getting rid of so many things.

I got rid of half my comics once and there was a bunch of things I regretted that I ended up buying again. Some things I'm getting rid of a second time which I'm fairly sure I won't buy a third time.
I once accidentally deleted my whole digital pornography collection then was hesitant to save any such images again but after several months I inevitably started building it up again.
So I'm fairly confident that getting rid of all my stuff would be an utterly stupid idea, however much a burden it feels at times.

I really don't get people who can just give away everything immediately after they've finished with it. Especially music or art books.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 18 October 2015 22:57 (four years ago) link

six months pass...

There's an exhibition of his Art And Beauty images right now and then a book set comes out in a few months. This is the stuff I've most wanted. Never really been interested in his comics.

Apparently a lot of the newest stuff is drawn from selfies that girls have sent him. Really looking forward to seeing that.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 21 April 2016 21:30 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 14 January 2020 06:53 (two weeks ago) link

unrepentant to the end.

its weird how he doesn't connect his compulsive confessionalism to his Catholic upbringing. Maybe he has elsewhere and just doesn't touch on it in this interview.

The only other cultural tradition I can think of besides Catholicism that places so much emphasis on confession - as if its a virtue in and of itself - is psychoanalysis.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 16 January 2020 22:46 (one week ago) link


bidenfan69420 (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 16 January 2020 23:16 (one week ago) link


Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 19 January 2020 14:00 (one week ago) link

great interview/ramble

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 19 January 2020 16:48 (one week ago) link

Has he ever commented on the whole Thicc phenomenon? Seems like an improvement in society he would like.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 19 January 2020 17:54 (one week ago) link

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