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R. Crumb Withdraws from New Yorker
November 11, 2011 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Cartoonist Robert Crumb's drawing for the New Yorker was turned down by editor David Remmick in 2009. Crumb didn't take the rejection well.

The drawing shows two people getting a marriage license. In the interview, Crumb said:
"Banning gay marriage is ridiculous because how are you supposed to tell what fucking gender anybody is if they’re bending it around? ".
Editor David Remmick offered no explanation for the rejection.
posted by Ideefixe (111 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
So Robert Crumb took a commission, was paid for the commission, and continues to be offered commissions by the New Yorker.

I don't get it - what's wrong here?
posted by saeculorum at 8:54 AM on November 11, 2011


I have no idea what that sentence means. But I like the cover, which depicts an old white dude afraid of change.
posted by DU at 8:57 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


As Crumb says--“It was suggested to me by the cover editor of the New Yorker that I make a cover for an issue to come out in June 2009. As it was a hot issue at the time, it was suggested that perhaps I could do a cover about gay marriage, which I then proceeded to do. Later, the cover editor explained to me that the chief editor, David Remnick, went back and forth, first accepting my cover design, then rejecting it, then accepting it, then rejecting it. This went on for many months. I heard nothing for a long time. Finally, the artwork was returned to me without explanation, nor was an explanation ever forthcoming. Remnick would not give the reason for rejecting the cover, either to the cover editor, or to me. For this reason I refuse to do any more work for the New Yorker.

Not to threadsit, but I know I would greatly miss his work, as there aren't that many outlets for this kind of art in mass circulation magazines.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:58 AM on November 11, 2011


I think this is the problem saeclorum: But if I’m going to work for them I need to know the criteria for why they accept or reject work.
posted by griphus at 8:58 AM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also can I say that I fucking love Johnny Ryan?
posted by griphus at 8:59 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


R crumb does not need the New Yorker. Can't argue with that.
posted by bq at 9:00 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


@griphus no
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:01 AM on November 11, 2011


You have a weird idea of 'didn't take the rejection well'. It's not like he threw a tantrum, took a shit on Remnick's desk, yadda yadda. Some chick from Vice called him and asked him about it and he rather calmly explained his position.
posted by spicynuts at 9:01 AM on November 11, 2011 [25 favorites]


This cover kind of seems offensive to me, although I guess I don't know. I'm not really a fan of Crumb, either, as he's drawn a lot of sort of offensive stuff. The difficulty is that it seems distinctly as though he's satirizing gay people in that cover, and the ambiguity is tough to get around.
posted by koeselitz at 9:01 AM on November 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


I recognize that you're not a fan, koeselitz, but I disagree that the illustration is satirizing gay people. It's satirizing the absurdity of the whole situation.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:03 AM on November 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


But then, you have a point, and your sense of ambiguity is probably the same reason that it was rejected.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:04 AM on November 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


The New Yorker has a usual policy of having artists send in rough drafts of what you want to do, and the editor can then suggest changes, and I told them right from the start: “I don’t do that, I can’t work that way. I will send you finished pieces, and you can take it or leave it, accept it as is or reject it.” They replied that they were OK with that.

And they left it.

What's the deal here?
posted by mazola at 9:05 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


So Robert Crumb took a commission, was paid for the commission, and continues to be offered commissions by the New Yorker.

I don't get it - what's wrong here?


Well, artists like their war stories, this ones interesting enough if a bit onesided, have to say it's disappinting the New Yorker didn't run the peice.

Also he likes big butts and cannot lie. Thanks for confirming that, Vice!
posted by Artw at 9:05 AM on November 11, 2011


I don't get it - what's wrong here?

Here's your answer:

I think part of the problem is the enormous power vested in the position of chief editor of the New Yorker. He has been ‘spoiled’ by the power that he wields. So many artists are so eager to do covers for the New Yorker that they are devalued in the eyes of David Remnick. They are mere pawns. He is not compelled to take pains to show them any respect. Any artist is easily replaced by another. Fortunately for me, I do not feel that I need the New Yorker badly enough to put up with such brusque treatment at the hands of its editor-in-chief. The heck with him!”
posted by KokuRyu at 9:05 AM on November 11, 2011


I would say he took the rejection pretty well.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:06 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The difficulty is that it seems distinctly as though he's satirizing gay people in that cover, and the ambiguity is tough to get around.

Is Crumb the old man in the license office, disgusted and gritting his dentures? I can't really tell, either.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:06 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I were to guess, I would say it was rejected because the ambiguity, which is the entire point of the work, would fly right over the heads of the people who like to make shit-storms about culture wars, and the result would be a giant clusterfuck of right wing assholes making hay over this causing a giant pain in the ass for the New Yorker. Add to that the strict PC-ness of the NYer and you've got 'oh christ let's not and say we did'. Remember, this was 2009.
posted by spicynuts at 9:07 AM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Vice: bad
R. Crumb: good
posted by 200burritos at 9:07 AM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's a great piece, and I'm glad it's now out there.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:07 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


ZOMG HE SAID HECK!!!
posted by spicynuts at 9:07 AM on November 11, 2011


I don't know why exactly, but I can't stand Crumb. I find even his most banal and inoffensive drawings unsavory somehow.
posted by MasonDixon at 9:08 AM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


R. Crumb's comments aside, seems to me that Vice wants their little interview to sort of insinuate that the New Yorker is afraid to be controversial, thus causing controversy (i.e. traffic to their site).

-10 points awarded to Vice for lack of originality and, well, being Vice
+10 points to R. Crumb for big butts
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:10 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the comment thread on Vice, here's the New Yorker cover on gay marriage that was published.
posted by TheGoodBlood at 9:10 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is fantastic about that cover is that, besides being interesting and humorous on the face of it, he also did the cover in the style of Norman Rockwell. I'm not sure Crumb is right when he says it only works as a New Yorker cover, though.
posted by ubiquity at 9:13 AM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'll just get it out now, actually.


"Nadja Sayej (who once propositioned R. Crumb in an interview)..." -FUTURE ARTICLES




Really though, I can understand why the NY didn't publish it. I love R. Crumb and I think that the piece was good, but it makes sense that it wouldn't be the definitive historical cover. The actual cover was sweet and made an 'everlasting love white wedding' kinda point. Crumb's was satirical and, to be frank, slightly derogatory towards the OLD MEN of the world. He took the Malcolm X approach, the actual cover took the Booker T Washington approach.
posted by 200burritos at 9:16 AM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


From the comment thread on Vice, here's the New Yorker cover on gay marriage that was published.

Wow. I think I fell asleep looking at that thing for a second because it was so fucking bland.
posted by Artw at 9:18 AM on November 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


I find even his most banal and inoffensive drawings unsavory somehow.

That's Crumb alright.

Though his blues and jazz stuff is actually pretty understated and non-freaky.
posted by Artw at 9:21 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


That is a fine example of Crumb's talent at work. It does not look like anything I have ever seen on the cover of New Yorker magzine. If I was at a newstand and I looked at the thing I would find it very odd, which I suppose is why the editor rejected it.

I love Crumb. The New Yorker I can take or leave but when a free copy falls into my hands I invariably look at all the cartoons, even though I almost never find any of them funny.
posted by bukvich at 9:22 AM on November 11, 2011


Well that interview takes an odd turn at the end, doesn't it?
posted by oddman at 9:24 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's nothing to get and there is no deal. It's just something that happened that some people are interested in.
posted by Sailormom at 9:24 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who checked Google Images to see if she was, in fact, the type of woman who Crumb likes to draw?
posted by mysterpigg at 9:25 AM on November 11, 2011


Well that interview takes an odd turn at the end, doesn't it?

I somehow missed that at first. Wow. Hmm.

The cover they printed is super saccharine and . . . well, boring.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:27 AM on November 11, 2011


Coincidentally, I'm the type of man that Crumb likes to draw.

Unfortunately.
posted by mazola at 9:27 AM on November 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm not a huge fan of Crumb's work, but I've read a lot of his stuff and I think I sort of get where he's coming from, and I get why some people have a hard time liking it, especially in our very post-modern, cool-centric world.

The thing about Crumb's art is that it's the opposite of cool. It isn't wry, or arch, or ironic or anything like that at all. If and when it is a satire, it's really more farce than satire (like this reject New Yorker cover). Sometimes when we see Crumb's work, we expect that he's winking at us, nudging and insinuating, but in reality it's the opposite. He's leering suggestively, yes, but he also has a huge childlike grin on his face. It's a weird intersection of lurid sex and childlike wonder, but that's pretty much where Crumb has always lived.

As for the cover that made it, I could see that ending up on a Hallmark card in the near future. Which is kind of nice that we've come that far (well, in some regions anyway).
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:27 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]




There's nothing to get and there is no deal. It's just something that happened that some people are interested in.


Jesus...who invited Albert Camus?
posted by spicynuts at 9:28 AM on November 11, 2011 [12 favorites]


the enormous power vested in the position of chief editor of the New Yorker. He has been ‘spoiled’ by the power that he wields.

Thus was it ever.

I don't really blame an artist of Crumb's fame for wanting his rejection explained in greater detail, but surely he's been around enough to know that failing to get one isn't that unusual. Anyway, The New Yorker is, apparently, willing to consider pieces by Crumb on a case-by-case basis and Crumb isn't willing to work for The New Yorker. Problem solved.

There's humor in Crumb's picture, but there's a bit of a hardness to it also. The marriage licenser isn't the only target of satire in the picture, the couple is as well. In the context, I'm not at all surprised that Remnick rejected it. I am a little surprised that Crumb needed that spelled out.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:28 AM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: there's nothing to get and there is no deal.
posted by mazola at 9:31 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is fantastic about that cover is that, besides being interesting and humorous on the face of it, he also did the cover in the style of Norman Rockwell.

Well, I like it, but it doesn't have half the power of this.
posted by Artw at 9:32 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel like I learned a lot more about Nadja Sayej from this piece than I did R. Crumb.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:32 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


NADJA SAYEJ SENT ME SEXY PICTURES BUT I REJECTED THEM
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:34 AM on November 11, 2011


Jesus...who invited Albert Camus?

As if an invite ever stopped Camus
posted by Sailormom at 9:35 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


NADJA SAYEJ SENT ME SEXY PICTURES BUT I REJECTED THEM

She needs to get, like, butt implants if the world of alternative comics is going ti take her seriously.

What is the Crumb position on itty-bitty waists?
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on November 11, 2011


The drawing seems way more directly topical than anything the New Yorker puts on the cover for most issues, so I'm not all that surprised, but... but... it's Bob Crumb.

If Crumb wanted to tattoo something on my back I'd say "yes" without even knowing what he had in mind.

It's Crumb.
posted by ocschwar at 9:40 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would have thought the Crumb cover was rejected because it depicts a man and a woman applying for a marriage license and not a same sex couple.
posted by cazoo at 9:40 AM on November 11, 2011


ahem
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


VOMIT.
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Whelk...I find it odd that St. Peter would need glasses. I mean...it's HEAVEN. If they can't fucking fix my eyesight, I'm pretty sure they won't be able to fix my baldness, so WHAT THE FUCK IS THE POINT OF TRYING TO GET INTO HEAVEN???
posted by spicynuts at 9:42 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, there's only so much cutesy I can take. I guess I am not a New Yorker covers guy.
posted by Artw at 9:42 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The New Yorker used to be a humor magazine, but that was a long time ago. Now they run one regular humor column "Shouts and Murmurs," which sometimes features Steve Martin (boring) and sometimes Woody Allen (who has been channeling S.J. Perelman so directly these days I'm surprised Perelman's estate hasn't sued Allen).

The problem with the cover? Too fucking funny. Oh, and as pointed out above, there were bound to be people offended by it, as were many by the cover portraying Michelle and Barack as a radical and a Muslim.

Still, I love Crumb and the New Yorker. I hope he publishes there again, because he doesn't show up in any other magazine I read
posted by kozad at 9:42 AM on November 11, 2011


Fist Bump! Now THAT cover was good.
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This cover kind of seems offensive to me, although I guess I don't know. I'm not really a fan of Crumb, either, as he's drawn a lot of sort of offensive stuff. The difficulty is that it seems distinctly as though he's satirizing gay people in that cover, and the ambiguity is tough to get around.

The whole point of Crumb drawings is to humanize the subjects by drawing them in the most warts-and-all unflattering style possible, the gay couple and the homophobic clerk. Just look at how Crumb draws himself.
posted by ocschwar at 9:46 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Crumb is an absolute favourite of mine - he's able to make even the most banal and inoffensive things unsavory somehow.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:47 AM on November 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


I get Crumb's position here- If Remnick waffled and then walked, I'd wanna know why, too. And Crumb is in a place where he can be choosy, so good for him.

But I'm never sure what Crumb's level of self-awareness is. This was a momentous occasion, I'm not sure that his TAKE THAT YA DIRTY SQUARES approach was right. The cover was a little bland, sure, but classy and moderate and, I think, suited the occasion more than Crumb's shotgun blast of an illustration.
posted by GilloD at 9:47 AM on November 11, 2011


R. Crumb lives in France in the most beautiful little village and makes his living drawing.

I think he wins.
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 AM on November 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


This was a momentous occasion, I'm not sure that his TAKE THAT YA DIRTY SQUARES approach was right.

How can you read that into the picture? Or any Crumb drawing? The subtext in his works is "to know all is to forgive all," including this one.
posted by ocschwar at 9:53 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I had to be crushed to death by something, a Taschen book of every drawing Crumb ever did sounds just the ticket!
posted by stinkycheese at 9:54 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I gotta say, when they tell you, "Well, we like to sort of trade ideas and suggest changes," and he says, "No, it's take it or leave it," then what's the point in explaining your reasoning? He's already said he's not interested in discussing changes, so why would they explain it? If he says "take it or leave it," he's exactly saying, "I don't want to talk about it; tell me yes or no." So they tell him no, and then he says, "But why?" I mean, I don't find the cover offensive, but I also don't find the cover as clever as he thinks it is, and I'm not surprised they decided they could find a better cover.

If you're open to making changes, people will tell you their reactions and give you an opportunity to make changes. If you say, "Give me a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down and shut up about it," then that's what you're likely to get. If I were the editor, "I'm not going to make any changes but I expect you to explain to me why you didn't take it" reads like "Justify your position so I can argue with you." Which ... they don't have to do. His behavior doesn't bother me here, but neither does theirs. Nobody has to "win," and nobody has to be on a power trip or devalue artists. He wants it both ways a bit, which is understandable and not a ridiculous request, but which they chose not to indulge, and I think that's okay.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 9:56 AM on November 11, 2011 [9 favorites]


He wants it both ways a bit, which is understandable and not a ridiculous request, but which they chose not to indulge, and I think that's okay.

I suspect his motivation is that he won't live forever, and he wants all his work to have impact.
posted by ocschwar at 9:59 AM on November 11, 2011


What I like about the picture is that it inspires in the viewer the same sort of gender-policing reaction that it's trying to satirize. "Wait, I can't figure out what the message is here. Is that supposed to be a gay couple or a straight couple? Is the tall one supposed to be a man in drag, or an ugly-stereotype version of a transwoman, or the sort of 6'8" lumberjack-shaped ciswoman who populates Crumb's fantasy life? Is the short one a transman or a dyke or a straight woman in drag or just a short babyfaced dude? I NEED TO KNOW THE FULL HISTORY OF THEIR LITTLE CARTOON GENITALIA BEFORE I CAN DECIDE HOW TO FEEL ABOUT THIS."

And then hopefully you catch yourself and say "Oh, shit, right, that's the whole point — it doesn't matter." But I know I still went around in circles on it a few times before giving up, trying to figure out which stereotypes were being invoked and whether I should be offended.

I suspect that's the catch for the New Yorker: that many of the salient interpretations can be taken as supporting some sort of ugly stereotype. I suspect if they ran it they'd get a hundred letters saying "You oughta be ashamed of yourself, portraying transpeople like none of them can pass" and another hundred saying "You oughta be ashamed of yourself, acting like drag queens represent the whole gay male community" and another hundred saying "You oughta be ashamed of yourself, trotting out that tired heteronormative butch/femme template for lesbian relationships" and on and on....
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:00 AM on November 11, 2011 [28 favorites]


After reading this, I checked out the Melvin Van Peebles interview and, if anything, it's a better read than Crumb grousing about the New Yorkers. YMMV
posted by stinkycheese at 10:02 AM on November 11, 2011


Remnick has been editor since 1998. How about some new blood?
posted by R. Mutt at 10:05 AM on November 11, 2011


See, the key in understand Crumb's piece here is that the couple is really heterosexual (guy in drag and masculine woman) but the marriage clerk is, in fact, gay.

Trippy.
posted by mazola at 10:05 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


[New Yorker Steve Jobs cover]
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 AM on November 11


The amount of laziness on display in that cover is almost perfect. Aren't New Yorker cover artists paid three or four thousand bucks? If so, this cartoonist arguably has the highest $/hour rate of any working American.
posted by bittermensch at 10:06 AM on November 11, 2011


Crumb didn't take the rejection well.

This isn't what the article says at all. He seems to be perfectly reasonable and objective about it.
posted by odinsdream at 10:07 AM on November 11, 2011


[New Yorker Steve Jobs cover]
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 AM on November 11

The amount of laziness on display in that cover is almost perfect. Aren't New Yorker cover artists paid three or four thousand bucks? If so, this cartoonist arguably has the highest $/hour rate of any working American.
posted by bittermensch


YES. I'm really, really hard on myself for my drawing skills, especially perspective gaffes and weird-looking hands. So it drives me nuts that this dude got paid for producing the fucked-up perspective of the iPad and its podium, and St. Peter's weird talons.
posted by COBRA! at 10:10 AM on November 11, 2011


mysterpigg: "Am I the only one who checked Google Images to see if she was, in fact, the type of woman who Crumb likes to draw?"

It didn't occur to me until you suggested it, and now I can certify that you are certainly not the only one.
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:12 AM on November 11, 2011


bittermensch, you're totally right. Give us Jules Breton, give us Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, give us Thomas Kinkade, or give us NO ONE AT ALL.
posted by 200burritos at 10:13 AM on November 11, 2011


Wow. I think I fell asleep looking at that thing for a second because it was so fucking bland.

It made my 66-year old mother (a long-time New Yorker subscriber) cry, and forward it to all her friends and relatives. Different audiences, you know?
posted by KathrynT at 10:13 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Art 2.0: Thing gets rejected by intended distribution medium, then becomes widely available through tons of editor-free, transaction-free channels, accompanied by tinge of artistic grar.
posted by obscurator at 10:14 AM on November 11, 2011


Also: if you count the amount of time and schmoozing it took that artist to get that far, the monetary amount is definitely a pittance. DON'T ENVY CARTOONISTS EVER (except for Winsor McCay).
posted by 200burritos at 10:14 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sasha Frere-Jones articles on black metal aside, someone 66-year-old mothjer/father is basically the target audience for the magazine. Not that it doesn't have plenty to interest everyone -- I'm a ten-year subscriber and I'm 26 -- but, yeah, there's a certain sort of satire that plays on New Yorker covers and it ain't R. Crumb.
posted by griphus at 10:15 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait I'm 27. Eleven years. Whatever.
posted by griphus at 10:16 AM on November 11, 2011


/wonders idly if Crumb has ever done any Xena Warrior Princess fan fiction.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love R Crumb, but as a gay guy, seeing a straight couple in drag really doesn't feel like it has much to do with gay marriage at all. That illustrated couple has had the right to get married and wear whatever they want for a long time now.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:22 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you read the article, Crumb refuses to identify either person by sex, and implies in fact they could be either male, female, transsexual, or otherwise.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:24 AM on November 11, 2011


I get saying that you don't like an illustration. I get saying you think the draughtsmanship is poor. I even get saying the style is banal. I even get reacting with the visceral "VOMIT" about an illustration.

Calling an illustrator lazy or overpaid feel like overreach unless you know how much they were actually paid (is it really a flat rate for the New Yorker? I somehow doubt that but don't know for sure) or saw it being made. I think the pieces (2 brides, Steve Jobs in heaven) work very well as NYer covers.
posted by artlung at 10:25 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I can see why they rejected it. To me it's more Mad magazine than New Yorker. Not so much offensive as adolescent.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:25 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Aside form anything, dude was a fucking Buddhist. Research, people!
posted by Artw at 10:27 AM on November 11, 2011


The main thing I get out of that article is a dislike for Nadja Sayej.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:28 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


No one comes out of this badly. Crumb is completely philosophical about the rejection - there's a touch of wounded amour propre, but no more than an artist of his level is entitled too, and his eyes are open to the reality of the process. He doesn't need the New Yorker and the New Yorker doesn't need him. Both parties continue to be as esteemed and as happy as they ever were.

Interesting little interview though, thanks for posting.
posted by WPW at 10:29 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The amount of laziness on display in that cover is almost perfect. Aren't New Yorker cover artists paid three or four thousand bucks? If so, this cartoonist arguably has the highest $/hour rate of any working American.

I don't think we've been evaluating artwork based on technical qualities for some time now.
posted by bhayes82 at 10:32 AM on November 11, 2011


More Carter Goodrich and Peter de Seve. Some of Barry Blitt's covers, and the featured R. Crumb drawing, become flat editorial cartoons, too dependent on the gag. To me they can lack the observation and design quality of some other contributors.
posted by TimTypeZed at 10:37 AM on November 11, 2011


The problem with the Jobs New Yorker cover is the perspective is fubar'd. Is the screen of the iPad pointed at Saint Peter or at Jobs or at the person viewing the scene? There is no way to tell. My guess is it's pointed at Saint Peter but if you make the perspective unambiguous the screen is too thin for the cartoon viewer to tell it's an iPad.

Only pedants would care about something like that is their justification, which is just stupid.
posted by bukvich at 10:37 AM on November 11, 2011


Eric Drooker
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Um...this seems like pretty substandard Crumb, to me.

Also...Crumb has been regularly and frequently featured in the New Yorker under Remnick's editorship. Remnick rejected one Crumb cover; he doesn't have some sort of anti-Crumb vendetta. Crumb wanted special treatment because he's R-fucking-Crumb. Probably fair enough, at that.
posted by yoink at 10:43 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you read the article, Crumb refuses to identify either person by sex, and implies in fact they could be either male, female, transsexual, or otherwise.

So he's marking gay marriage by saying that gender is beside the point? Still not feeling it.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:46 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Art Spiegelman
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on November 11, 2011


Well, that was hardly "The Gayest Story Ever Told" ...

It can't even top "How Spock Saved Christmas."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:50 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Photo of Nadja Sayej
Oh wait this one is better. Hmmmmm.

Sort of a funny story here. I rented the documentary on R.Crumb without really knowing much about him - I recognized the name and his work, but that's about it. Well, we plopped down to watch the video, and the mother- and father-in-law were visiting. It got kind of awkward as they showed more and more bizarre, sexual, and grotesque imagery.

I recommend the dcoumentary, it's brilliant, and not prurient at all.
posted by Xoebe at 10:53 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Photo of Nadja Sayej
Oh wait this one is better. Hmmmmm.


Good god! That woman isn't self-conscious! MEDIC! WE NEED 10CCs OF HORRIBLE COSMO ARTICLES STAT!
posted by griphus at 10:55 AM on November 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


100% chance of hand-stands with no pants.
posted by Artw at 10:56 AM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


So he's marking gay marriage by saying that gender is beside the point?

I think he's marking marriage as something between two people, whatever their orientation, kink, gender-bending, spot on the Kinsey spectrum -- it's all good, get married if you want to be married.

To me it's more Mad magazine than New Yorker. Not so much offensive as adolescent.

That sums it up nicely.
posted by artlung at 10:59 AM on November 11, 2011


The drawing seems to be kind of moving the goalposts at a time when a lot of people were getting excited about the prospect of scoring a touchdown. I think it would be pretty deflating if, as a supporter of gay marriage who was actually invested in its passage, you got your New Yorker in the mail and it was yelling at you WELL SO WHAT GENDER IS A FUCKING SOCIAL CONSTRUCT ANYWAY. Though the message is worthwhile in general, given the forum it aggressively misses the point to me.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 11:22 AM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


if, as a supporter of gay marriage who was actually invested in its passage, you got your New Yorker in the mail and it was yelling at you WELL SO WHAT GENDER IS A FUCKING SOCIAL CONSTRUCT ANYWAY

Then you might be tempted to yell back HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO YOU TOO, MR FUCKING STRAIGHT GUY. GIVE MY BEST TO YOUR WIFE.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:41 AM on November 11, 2011


bittermensch, you're totally right. Give us Jules Breton, give us Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, give us Thomas Kinkade, or give us NO ONE AT ALL.
posted by 200burritos at 1:13 PM on November 11 [+] [!]

I don't think we've been evaluating artwork based on technical qualities for some time now.
posted by bhayes82 at 1:32 PM on November 11 [+] [!]

The problem with the Jobs New Yorker cover is the perspective is fubar'd. Is the screen of the iPad pointed at Saint Peter or at Jobs or at the person viewing the scene? There is no way to tell. My guess is it's pointed at Saint Peter but if you make the perspective unambiguous the screen is too thin for the cartoon viewer to tell it's an iPad.

Only pedants would care about something like that is their justification, which is just stupid.
posted by bukvich at 1:37 PM on November 11 [+] [!]


Yeah, my only problem is the cartoonist can't figure out a way to get the perspective correct.

The cover shows Steve Jobs at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter looking at an iPad rather than a book. How high concept. I bet he put as much thought into this piece as the hundreds of political cartoonists who probably doodled the same thing minutes after they heard Jobs died. I didn't realize our standards for the New Yorker - for better or worse the primary "intellectual" print magazine in America - didn't go much beyond Hallmark Greeting card. But hey, who cares about technical rigor? Certain events require a drawing that's hastily conceived, poorly inked, and boringly watercolored.
posted by bittermensch at 11:51 AM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


> I'm not really a fan of Crumb, either, as he's drawn a lot of sort of offensive stuff.

I enjoyed his Jailbait of the Month pix.
posted by jfuller at 12:24 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still don't get why the New Yorker couldn't be bothered to tell Crumb why they rejected his work. That's disrespectful and they've got nothing to gain by doing that.
posted by elgilito at 12:37 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still don't get why the New Yorker couldn't be bothered to tell Crumb why they rejected his work. That's disrespectful and they've got nothing to gain by doing that.


It's a good way to get drawn into a pointless argument with the rejected artist, especially given that they commission more than one artist every month. Crumb is a big enough name and a mature enough artist that it could be worthwhile, but blanket policies about this are common.
posted by ocschwar at 12:40 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's great to have fuck-you money.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:09 PM on November 11, 2011


ahem

How dare the New Yorker show Steve Jobs at the pearly gates?? He should be tied up to a spit, while Satan chews on a toothpick. Maybe get Ed Roth to do the cover—that'll throw Vice for a loop.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:18 PM on November 11, 2011


My question is this: Do women really lounge around in lingerie? I would imagine an old t-shirt would be infinitely more comfortable.
posted by maxwelton at 1:39 PM on November 11, 2011


Nothing in the interview indicates he didn't take the rejection well. He essentially says, 'no hard feelings'. Maybe his fans didn't take it well and are projecting? It seems perhaps the cover wasn't good enough. I don't think an editorial staff has to explain themselves and I don't think an artist would or should expect an explanation anyway.

But Crumb has actually had many pieces in the New Yorker since - so this rejection is a non-issue.
posted by Rashomon at 1:59 PM on November 11, 2011


maxwelton, it's interesting you mention that. When I visited the page, I saw an (NSFW) American Apparel ad featuring sweaters and panties (NSFW). I hope this is the start of a new fashion trend.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:04 PM on November 11, 2011


My question is this: Do women really lounge around in lingerie? I would imagine an old t-shirt would be infinitely more comfortable.

Usually depends on how much they like fucking and whether their partner(s) like(s) lingerie or t-shirts. For me, the answer would be "not enough."

I saw an (NSFW) American Apparel ad featuring sweaters and panties (NSFW). I hope this is the start of a new fashion trend.

I'm guessing you're not familiar with AA ads?
posted by mrgrimm at 3:18 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wasn't, but I am now. :-)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:50 PM on November 11, 2011


Artist fails to get respect. News at 11.
posted by unSane at 5:55 PM on November 11, 2011


A lot of commenters seem not to know that Crumb is regularly published in the New Yorker. The art editor is Francoise Mouly, one of the editors of Raw along with Art Spiegelman (who also did work for the magazine).

Now what would have been nice is if they'd asked, say, Alison Bechdel to do the cover.
posted by zompist at 6:28 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know why exactly, but I can't stand like Crumb. I find even his most unsavory drawings banal and inoffensive somehow.
posted by sneebler at 7:03 PM on November 11, 2011


When you go to the cover editor’s office, you notice that the walls are covered with rejected New Yorker covers. Sometimes there are two rejected covers for each issue.

This is such a non-story. I like the cover, but given that this seems to happen to 2/3 of all submitted designs, I can't see it as some sort of attempt to silence R. Crumb or run scared from gay marriage. IT just wasn't the right art for that month's cover. And sometimes it takes a while to make a decision. And like Crumb says, they don't owe him an explanation. And he'd like to know their criteria, sure, but at the same time, he's had work in the magazine since, so we have to assume his relationship with them is not a problem.

Someone wanted to get a story, but there isn't much of one.
posted by Miko at 7:56 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is the Crumb position on itty-bitty waists?

I think he can take them or leave them.

Preceding image potentially offensive
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:56 AM on November 12, 2011


Clearly never watched Seinfeld
posted by IndigoJones at 12:37 PM on November 13, 2011


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