70 years ago today in Philadelphia, PA, a weirdo was born. He grew up in a spectacularly dysfunctional family, angry, alienated and beset by bizarre sexual compulsions, mostly involving girls with giant butts. But following those early years of bitter struggle, he became a celebrated cartoonist, musician and misanthrope whose controversial, hilarious (and just as often despairing) art transformed funnybooks and American society. His name is R. Crumb. [more inside]
Windsor McCay was one of the first superstars of the American comics strip, a pioneer in both cartooning and animation, massively prolific. All of his work is in the public domain, but where to start? Over at Robot 6, Chris Mautner provides the lowdown in the first installment of a new series of Comics College, "a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work". [more inside]
R Crumb talks to the Paris Review about his adaptation of The Book of Genesis, cartoons, LSD, Winnie the Pooh, Terry Gilliam, and some other things.
From off the streets of Cleveland, Harvey Pekar pioneered autobiopgraphical comics in the 70s with his self-published American Splendor. His tales of working as a file clerk lead to greater fame, including appearances on David Letterman and a movie about his life. He worked with many different artists, including his personal friend Robert Crumb. Beyond that, he was an inspiration for so many others. Harvey Pekar passed away last night at the age of 70.
Ed Piskor became interested in alternative comics at the tender age of nine [according to Wikipedia] after watching Harvey Pekar reading one of his stories in a documentary [most likely this one]. Fast-forward a decade or so, and Ed's getting the call from Pekar himself, asking Ed to draw some comics for him. [more inside]
Robert Crumb is the creator of Zap Comix, Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, Keep on Trucking, and a lot more classic Underground Art. Tonight at 6:30 pacific time on International Film Channel, the David Lynch Presents/a Terry Zwigoff Film, Crumb, (Winner Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival). Six years in the making, this documentary profiles a very talented, very strange family. A "creepy, darkly funny, and haunting glimpse", to say the least. If you are interested in the 60s counterculture, Crumb was the man. Art, maladjustment, maybe a touch of insanity? Watch this film.