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.
One more new arrival in our warehouse among the deluge we informed you of yesterday — the first Fantagraphics edition was published in 2007, and now this perennial bestseller is already in its 5th printing:
"What do I have in common with the Jews? I don't even have anything in common with myself." Nothing could better express the essence of Franz Kafka, a man described by his friends as living behind a "glass wall." Kafka wrote in the tradition of the great Yiddish storytellers, whose stock-in-trade was bizarre fantasy tainted with hilarity and self-abasement. What he added to this tradition was an almost unbearably expanded consciousness. Alienated from his roots, his family, his surroundings, and primarily from his own body, Kafka created a unique literary language in which to hide away, transforming himself into a cockroach, an ape, a dog, a mole or a circus artiste who starves himself to death in front of admiring crowds. David Zane Mairowitz's brilliant text and the illustrations and comic panels of the world's greatest cartoonist, Robert Crumb (himself no stranger to self-loathing and alienation), help us to understand the essence of Kafka and provide insight beyond the cliche "Kafkaesque," peering through Kafka's glass wall like no other book before it. The book is a wonderful educational tool for those unfamiliar with Kafka, including a brief but inclusive biography as well as the plots of many of his works, all illustrated by Crumb, making this newly designed edition a must-have for admirers of both Kafka and Crumb.
Musician John Heneghan, whom I've mentioned on this blog previously, is a frequent musical collaborator with R. Crumb. And now, he's been entrusted with selling off some of the more extraneous items in Crumb's legendary 78 record collection. Many of the items include hand-written notes by Crumb on the sleeve of each piece. These could make a super cool, ultra-unique gift for any Crumb fans in your life.
I'd never seen this Crumb painting before. I entertained the notion that it might be a fraud for a moment, but I think the telltale signs are the building facades and cars, which are classic "Harlem"-era Crumb. Available on eBay for a mere $100K.
• Review: "First off: a round of applause to Kim Thompson for his translation of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec. The French title of the first volume translates literally as 'Adele and the Beast,' and that was the title of the previous American version (20 years or so ago) — but 'Pterror over Paris' is way funnier, and in line with the overheated, not entirely serious style of this book. ...[T]his is really charming stuff... and it's super-fun." – Douglas Wolk, TIME/Techland
• Review: "This is a powerful tale about creativity, morality, verity and above all, responsibility which demands that the reader work for his reward. As an exploration of imagination it is subtly enticing, but as an examination of Mankind’s unchanging primal nature The Sanctuary is pitilessly honest. Abstract, symbolic, metaphorical yet gloriously approachable, this devastatingly clever saga is a 'must-see' for any serious fan of comics and every student of the human condition." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!
• Review: "In collecting all the (mostly) non-Locas, non-Palomar odds’n'ends from the initial run of Love and Rockets from both Gilbert and Jaime — and Mario too, the 'sometimes Y' to Beto and Xaime’s AEIOU —Amor y Cohetes reinforces [a particular] conception of the brothers’ working relationship. It’s not one-upsmanship, it’s not trading eights, it’s more a matter of pulling from a collective pool of ideas about comics." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
• Interview: For the L.A. Times Hero Complex blog, Deborah Vankin talks to Robert Crumb (actually an outtake from a slightly longer Crumb interview done for a feature on Joyce Farmer running in the print version of the Times soon): "Maybe I’m less angry. I don’t know. Actually, I’m not less angry. When I go back to America, after a few days I am once again filled with this kind of angry alienation and disgust with this thing there that America has got — you have no idea how pervasive it is there. The public relations and propaganda put out by the corporate mono-culture there is so pervasive."