The Sweeter Side of R. Crumb

Overview

The "nasty, negative, misanthropic" comic genius proves he has a sweet side.
Cute little kittens, angels, and babies? Flowers, ice cream cones, and German boy bands? Coming from, supposedly, the creepiest and most pessimistic artist of his generation? Yes indeed, there is a "sweeter side" to R. Crumb. These delectable illustrations—whether depicting Bernie the Cat pawing for his master's affection, the timeworn beauty of a French village cul-de-sac, or a quiet night chez ...

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Overview

The "nasty, negative, misanthropic" comic genius proves he has a sweet side.
Cute little kittens, angels, and babies? Flowers, ice cream cones, and German boy bands? Coming from, supposedly, the creepiest and most pessimistic artist of his generation? Yes indeed, there is a "sweeter side" to R. Crumb. These delectable illustrations—whether depicting Bernie the Cat pawing for his master's affection, the timeworn beauty of a French village cul-de-sac, or a quiet night chez Crumb—wonderfully exemplify the many tender moments that have, until now, played second fiddle to the cult icon's more raunchy sketches. Now Crumb harkens back to his humble American beginnings as a Cleveland greeting card illustrator, when his innate knack for the grotesque had to be suppressed for the perennial appeal of "cute." The result is this cheery and blue-skied world, where readers of every conceivable personality type, age group, even sexual persuasion can finally enjoy the artist's momentary lapse from naughty to nice.

This exclusive collection of haunting images of people and places reveals the tender side of R. Crumb, a 1960s counter culture artist who broke into the fine art world with great acclaim.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Crumb's work essentially defined the "underground comix" of the 1960s and 1970s, loaded with sex, drugs, and over-the-top tragicomedy. As his hilariously cynical introduction makes clear, this collection invites those deterred by his visually and politically outrageous portfolio to appreciate a master draftsman's skill. Rather than a graphic narrative, it's an art book centering on portraits, landscapes, interiors, cameos from the past, and several tasteful nudes. Crumb's far-from-simple line art imparts a visceral reality to his subjects. Drawings of his French neighborhood seem more hauntingly real than a photograph. Portraits of musicians and entertainers of various ethnicities let you smell the cheap perfume, musty upholstery, and hard-earned sweat of a footlights life. And while Crumb's infamous raunch is toned down, his trademark women—voluptuously sturdy, powerfully statuesque—all but take over the collection; a grinning 1920s flapper dances closely with a Crumb look-alike; wife Aileen poses with sardonic comments in designer dresses; young women spring to life from trains and streets. A few brief narrative cartoons of home life with daughter Sophie lend the sweetest touch. Yet the closing, heartbreaking image shows two starving Sudanese children. Not sweet. Recommended for art and how-to-draw collections.
—Martha Cornog
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393333718
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 10.98 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Philadelphia, R. Crumb is the author of numerous comic works and one of the pioneers of underground comics. His books include Kafka, The Complete Crumb Comics (17 volumes), The R. Crumb Sketchbook (10 volumes), R. Crumb Draws the Blues, The Book of Mr. Natural, The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb, and many more. He lives in the south of France with his wife, the artist Aline Kominsky-Crumb.

Born in Philadelphia, R. Crumb is the author of numerous comic works and one of the pioneers of underground comics. His books include Kafka, The Complete Crumb Comics (17 volumes), The R. Crumb Sketchbook (10 volumes), R. Crumb Draws the Blues, The Book of Mr. Natural, The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb, and many more. He lives in the south of France with his wife, the artist Aline Kominsky-Crumb.

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