The definitive, comprehensive series reprinting the entirety of Crumb's published career enters the mid-1980s with this 15th volume, a period that many critics consider to be the richest of Crumb's career. Anchored by Crumb's contributions to the seminal anthology Weirdo, created and edited by Crumb, this volume includes the first several appearances of classic Crumb character Mode O' Day, the networking fashion plate that serves as a foil for some of Crumb's most biting satire about America's cultural "elite." Other Weirdo highlights include Crumb's fascinating adaptation of Dr. R. Von Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," and "Where Has it Gone, all the Beautiful Music of Our Grandparents?", two stories often-cited as being amongst Crumb's very best work. The Weirdo section wraps up with yet another classic, "The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick," which chronicles the last years of the highly-regarded science-fiction writer who experienced an intense vision of the apocalypse and believed that he was possessed by the spirit of Elijah. Also included are Crumb's first collaborations with the late writer Charles Bukowski, including the chapbook "Bring Me Your Love," as well as several collaborations with Harvey Pekar from his autobiographical series American Splendor. The book is rounded out with a color section that includes rare album art for various jazz and blues greats, as well reproductions of his various comic book covers from this period and an introduction by Peter Bagge. Crumb is the most revealing of all artists, and The Complete Crumb Comics leaves no stone unturned.
The Season of the Snoid: Found in this collection, spanning 1976-1980, are Crumb's classic "social and environmental" rants unleashed in Co-Evolution Quarterly and Winds of Change; the now-famous "A Short History of America"; more collaborations with Harvey Pekar in the gritty American Splendor; the quintissential "My Troubles with Women"; and most important of all, the very first "Snoid" comics! Additional must-have artwork includes a huge dose of rare full-color album cover art from Blue Goose, Red Goose and Yazoo. Even the most devoted Crumb fan will find surprises galore, including a very revealing and long introduction by Maxon Crumb.
• Profile: At the ABC News website, the AP's Matt Moore talks to Robert Crumb during his recent visit to New York City for his Society of Illustrators exhibit opening: "'It was never intended for that purpose, so it's always odd to see it on a wall, or under glass; it was intended for printing and books. It wasn't made as a wall hanging piece,' Crumb said in an interview with The Associated Press. 'For me, the printed copy is the magic moment. When I see it in print — that was the whole purpose of it.'" (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
• Interview: At Previews, a must-read chat with Gary Groth about our classic strip reprints: "The only criterion is that it’s great cartooning. We wouldn’t waste our time devoting this much time and energy to anything less. Our mission has been to publish the best cartooning — not only in comic strips, but in every 'branch' of the cartooning art — that we can."
• Interview: At Robot 6, Chris Mautner talks to Wilfred Santiago about 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente: "I was trying not to make it … biographies to me have a static feel to them. I was trying to avoid [that] and I feel like cartooning helps you in expressing the story and what you’re trying to convey thtorugh the story. It was difficult too because I wanted it to be cartoony and realistic at the same time. I wanted it to be fun. What’s important was that it was exciting; that it could almost speak. That you could read the book in a very sort of sharp-paced way but you could also take the time and read through it at your leisure."
• Interview: Matthew Baker of Vanderbilt University's Nashville Review has an epic chat with Anders Nilsen: "Really I feel like comics is just the most useful category to drop me into. I don’t feel like I’m wedded to comics as a medium. I draw, and I usually sort of tell stories, but I do make standalone drawings and paintings, and I do make stuff that is probably closer to poetry than comics. I’ve made books before that aren’t really comics — just a series of pictures, or diagrams, or whatever."
• Review: "Stunning and evocative and rendered in a cacophony of swirling miasmic lines, this fearsome modern parable is a fierce interrogation of faith and destiny which asks uncompromising and uncomfortable questions about the price of Grace and the value of belief. [...] Emotive, shocking and utterly compelling, Stigmata is a grotesque and beautiful metaphysical rollercoaster with existential angst and blind faith gripping each other’s philosophical throats and squeezing really hard. No rational reader or mature comics fan can afford to miss this dark shining delight." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Review: "This book beautifully captures the phantasmagoric flow of images that occurs in dreams. Mattotti's art is incredible. There are panels that are so intricate that I wonder how he had the time to draw so many of them. At 32 mostly wordless pages it's a very short book, but the imagery, like the panels of a child throwing a toy at a giant, or the panels showing a huge black bird carrying off a rabbit in a rainstorm, will stay with you long after you finish reading. If you like the intense, emotional, sometimes dreamlike artwork Mattotti did for Stigmata, you will love Chimera." – Jon Anderson, The Beguiling
[Editor/Marketeer's Note: You can get Chimera for half price when you order Stigmata!]
Here are some great photos of Robert Crumb at the opening of R. Crumb: Lines Drawn On Paper at the Society of Illustrators in NYC last Friday (March 25). The top two are by Rob Sussman; the bottom one, with Bob in a saucy pose with SOI director Anelle Miller, is by Jordin Isip; all were provided by Drew Friedman (thanks Drew!).
• Review: "Fantagraphics' collection Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s, edited by Greg Sadowski, is a wonderfully creepy hurtle through the exuberant, cheerfully gross and icky horror comics that prevailed in the golden, pre-Comics-Code era. ...[T]he art is brilliant: indistinct piles of slimy viscera, purple-green zombies, skull-faced vampires and demons, Satan in a dozen guises, witches and occult symbols, creatures from the eleven hells of the darkest mythos of the human spirit." – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
• Review: "Considering how much I enjoyed the first four years, when Foster was still finding the strip’s voice, I wasn’t sure how much better Valiant could get. Turns out, Prince Valiant achieves sheer radiance. [...] In short, Prince Valiant is noble romantic adventure fiction at its finest. The plots are classical, yet surprising, with chivalry and fair play constantly at the forefront. Poetic and strikingly descriptive, the narrations could nearly stand alone, but fortunately are accompanied by some of the finest comics art ever produced. [...] Prince Valiant v. 3: 1941-1942 finds a legendary strip reaching yet greater heights of creative accomplishment, presenting the strips with the full majesty of size, color and detail that its author always hoped for. After Foster, comics were never the same; this series is, simply, a must-have for any serious comics library." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
• Review: "Excoriating, withering humour and viciously necessary satire tellingly rendered and savage yet personable and winningly intimate reportage make [Twilight of the Assholes] one of the best cartoon coshes ever applied to the politics of this century." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
The Society of Illustrators in NYC presents R. Crumb: Lines Drawn On Paper, running March 23 - April 30, 2011, with an opening reception on Friday March 25 at 7:00 PM. This retrospective of Crumb's work, curated by Monte Beauchamp, founder/editor of BLAB! and editor of The Life and Times of R. Crumb (St. Martin's Press), presents key pieces culled from the underground art collection of Eric Sack, with contributions from Paul Morris and John Lautemann. Needless to say: a must-see! More info on the exhibit and reception can be found at the links above.
It is true: after much foofaraw and mishegas, The Comics Journal #301 went to the printer last week and is due to be available in May. (You may have come across an earlier version of the cover here on our website, but here for the first time is the final version.)
The Journal is reborn. In these 600+ pages: R. Crumb interview & critical roundtable on Genesis; Joe Sacco interview; Jim Woodring, Tim Hensley & Stephen Dixon sketchbooks; Jaffee & Kupperman in conversation; Gerald McBoing Boing; much more.
This volume is guest designed by internationally respected Criterion art director Eric Skillman.
See here for more information on the issue and stay tuned for updates and previews.