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Robert Crumb

Robert Crumb (b. 1943), perhaps the most prominent of the underground cartoonists of the 1960s, is best known for founding the comix anthology Zap and creating numerous iconic characters such as Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat. Crumb drew obsessively ever since he was a child, but he didn’t find many outlets for his work until he founded Zap in 1968. Though many retailers wouldn’t stock the comic due to its explicit material, it became a financial success, paving the way for many underground comix to come. Initially a solo enterprise, Zap soon featured work from a variety of countercultural cartoonists, including Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, S. Clay Wilson, and Gilbert Shelton.

Crumb was incredibly prolific during the late-’60s to the mid-’70s, writing and drawing many short-lived comic books such as Motor City Comics, Big Ass Comics, and Mr. Natural. Rendered in his distinctive cross-hatched, bigfoot style, Crumb’s comics centered around his fascinations and fixations on large, sturdily-built women and the culture—particularly the music—of 1920s and 1930s America. His work savagely satirized the culture and values of contemporary America, often with a psychedelic twist. Since the heyday of underground comix, Crumb has continued to produce art, drawing countless record covers, editing the alternative comics magazine Weirdo, collaborating on various comics with his wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, and even illustrating the complete story of Genesis. In 1991, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame.