it’s a strange confession admitting to my early interest in r. crumb. i remember being about 11 years-old and my dad handed me a large box full of comic books he had during the 60s and 70s.
i doubt he knew that inside the box, amongst the issues of justice league america and spiderman comics, there were a few issues of original r crumb comics like big ass and other classics. a hungry reader, i read all the comics and of course this included the arguably age-inappropriate ones.
because i was still young, perhaps, it didn’t occur to me that his notoriously misogynistic content should offend me. instead i was fascinated by the taboo content and specifically its existence in comic form. and the artwork seemed so unusual and original to me. ever since then, i’ve been drawn towards the unpolished and intimate nature of amateur art.
and though most of us seem to already know so much about him from the movie “crumb” and have moved past him onto other artists; i come to r crumb’s defense, because he did produce works like this, which remains a favorite of mine:
a short history of america