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Graham Nash is auctioning his R. Crumb originals, including a cover for the long-lost Zap Comix #1
07.31.2017
09:17 am
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Graham Nash, the singer/guitarist of durable British Invasion band The Hollies and the eponymous Nash of Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and sometimes Young), has consigned an impressive collection of original comix art by underground godhead Robert Crumb, including an intended original cover for Zap Comix #1. This may not have been THE intended cover—Crumb drew and rejected a fair few versions, and the original art for that comic was lost before it was published.

Underground comix fans will likely know the basics of this tale, but it’s assembled from various accounts, so God only knows, but what’s beyond dispute is that the comic that was released as Zap #1 was in fact the second Zap. Lore has long held that intended publisher Brian Zahn fucked off to India, possibly with the original drawings still in his possession, so Crumb drew an altogether new comic, and Don Donahue released that work as Zap #1, paying for it by trading a tape deck, and in the process, founding Apex Novelties. After Crumb re-inked the lost pages, using as guides not quite print-worthy photostats that he may have recovered from the possession of Viking Press, the intended debut issue ended up being the third, finally released in 1968 as Zap Comix #0, and with a very similar but significantly less penisy cover. Whether and when Crumb ever recovered the originals from Zahn is unclear, and sources differ on the matter. And given that in this case “sources” mostly means guys around 70 who used to take a lot of drugs, that they’d all remember things differently should hardly come as a surprise.

Via Goldmine:

The top prize among the Nash’s offering of art by master Robert Crumb likely will be a dramatic Robert Crumb Zap Comix #1 Cover Original Art (1967), which carries a pre-auction estimate of $100,000 and up. The image is a perfect example of Crumb’s refusal to hold anything back, with the word “Zap” being written across the top in electrified lettering over the image of a nude man being jolted through a cord attached to an electrical outlet. The image was intended by Robert Crumb to be on the cover of Zap No. 1.

Also expected to sell for as much as $100,000 is an extraordinary Robert Crumb American Splendor Complete Six-Page Story Original Art (Harvey Pekar, 1979). Crumb and the story’s author, Pekar, were friends before Crumb became famous; one of the interests they shared was collecting records. Pekar lacked artistic ability, but convinced his friend to do the artwork for his stories by acquiring 78 RPM records – often blues, one of Crumb’s favorites – for Crumb.

Here’s that Zap cover, followed by the one that actually ran as #0, and the framed lot that includes Crumb’s hand-inked color masks—no rubylith for him, he was probably too broke. Then, just because we could, we composited the colors, sampled from those masks. For whatever it’s worth, this could be the first time ever that anyone’s ever seen this artwork more or less the way Crumb intended it.
 

 

 

Click to enlarge
 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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07.31.2017
09:17 am
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Comics-inspired Criterion movie posters by Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Ralph Steadman & more
08.29.2016
01:13 pm
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A 2010 movie poster for the 1968 film ‘Head’ by Wayne Shellabarger.
 
Back in 2010 Criterion had the fantastic idea to have director Jim Jarmusch select a number of notable artists including Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb and Hunter S. Thompson’s pal Ralph Steadman to design movie posters for various Criterion releases. The posters made their debut during an All Tomorrow’s Parties festival which Jarmusch curated in 2010.
 

A poster for the 1963 film ‘Shock Corridor’ by Daniel Clowes.
 
If you’ve not seen the artwork that Clowes created for two films in Criterion’s collection directed by Samuel Fuller—1963’s mental hospital fever-dream Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss—you are in for a treat. I’ve assembled a number of the posters done by a wide range of artists that pay homage to films by Wes Anderson, Hal Ashby and David Cronenberg just to name a few. In 2014 Criterion published a massive book Criterion Designs that features a collection of artwork created for films in their catalog including many of the ones featured in this post.
 

‘Crumb’ by R. Crumb.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.29.2016
01:13 pm
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R. Crumb illustrates incest, murder & other sordid situations from the ‘Book of Genesis’ (NSFW)
08.09.2016
12:18 pm
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It was hard to draw God. Should God just be a bright light? Should I use word balloons? Should God be a woman?

—R. Crumb on his 2009 illustrated version of the “Book of Genesis”

According to seminal underground comic book artist and illustrator of gargantuan women Robert Crumb, his unique artistic style was the product of good old LSD. Prior to taking his first trip in 1965 Crumb was newly married to his soon-to-be ex-wife Dana Morgan and unhappily employed as a greeting card illustrator. As drugs were still legal at the time, Crumb decided to drop acid one weekend and by the time the workweek arrived on Monday his entire perspective on pretty much everything (including his art) had changed for the better.
 

R. Crumb on ACID.
 
We have so many illustrated oddities to thank Crumb and his pal LSD for from Zap Comix, Mr. Natural and the weirdos within the pages of Crumb’s long-running Weirdo. And if anyone could possibly make anything related to one of the greatest works of fiction otherwise known as The Bible more interesting it’s Mr. Crumb. Which is exactly what Crumb did back in 2009 when he published his own 200+ page illustrated take on all 50 chapters that make up Genesis, The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb. Though not a fan of organized religion himself, Crumb’s take on Genesis was brutally faithful to its ancient predecessor and is full of comic-styled depictions of sex, murder and debauchery that so displeased “God” that he decided to wipe out his creations in a flood.

Much like the disclaimer on the book’s cover Crumb truly left “nothing out” of his adaptation of Genesis—which likely riled up religious types when they saw passages from the first book of the Old Testament detailing incestual situations illustrated by the sex-obsessed cartoonist. But I’m not one of those types so I wholehearted endorse Crumb’s herculean effort. If this R. Crumb artifact if missing from your collection, you can get a copy here.

Images from The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb follow and as you might imagine are NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.09.2016
12:18 pm
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Robert Crumb and friends flush Donald Trump down the toilet, 1989
06.20.2016
05:24 pm
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A few months ago we learned that Woody Guthrie once wrote a righteously angry protest song about Donald Trump’s slumlord dad, an occurrence that could only be topped by, say, a righteously angry comic strip penned by R. Crumb about his son, the ultra-wealthy asshole currently running for President of these United States of America.

Such a thing actually fucking exists!

In 1991 Crumb left America for France, but before he did so he put out “Point the Finger,” a comic about a certain over-publicized real estate mogul that appeared in his short run of Hup comics (Issue #3). In the five-page strip, “Crumb” (the character) has a run-in with Trump, whom he calls “one of the more visible big time predators who feed on society” and “one of the most evil men alive.” He also says, “Hey Don—Ugh! You’re so hateful I can’t even look at you!”
 

 
He enlists his chums Tracy and Marny to introduce Trump’s face to the inside of a toilet bowl. And then the three of them (not Trump—ew) have sex.

You can read the entire strip here, but be warned—it’s most definitely NSFW.

The well-known comix artist R. Sikoryak, likely best known for Masterpiece Comics, has posted a handful of non-NSFW images from “Point the Finger” on his blog, which we’ve reproduced here.

You can buy Hup 1-4 for just $30.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.20.2016
05:24 pm
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R. Crumb drawings based on the exploits of Charles Bukowski
05.17.2016
09:42 am
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The cover of Charles Bukowski’s short story, ‘Bring Me Your Love’ illustrated by R. Crumb.
 
The seemingly logical collaboration of the great R. Crumb and transgressive writer and poet Charles Bukowski finally became a reality in the early part of the 80s when Crumb created illustrations for two of Bukowski’s short stories, Bring Me Your Love (1983) and There’s No Business (1984).
 

An illustration from ‘There’s No Business’ by R. Crumb.
 
Crumb’s illustrations give the already gritty storylines of both stories visual context—such as a man who looks much like Buk wrestling on the floor with his “wife” after a dispute involving answering the phone or various barroom skirmishes depicting a Bukowski-looking character running amok. The pair would collaborate once again in 1998 (four years after Bukowski’s passing in 1994) with Crumb illustrating a collection of excerpts from Bukowski’s diary, specifically passages from the year prior to his death, The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship. Many of Crumb’s illustrations from all three publications, as well as a few other cartoons images of Charles Bukowski drawn by Crumb follow.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.17.2016
09:42 am
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‘Crumb’: Watch the brilliant, notorious and disturbing Robert Crumb documentary
09.03.2015
11:16 am
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Note the presentation by David Lynch. Lynch actually had nothing whatsoever to do with the film, but allowed his name to be used for promotion.

The famous myth about the 1994 documentary Crumb is that director Terry Zwigoff only got Robert Crumb to agree to make it because Zwigoff threatened to kill himself if Crumb didn’t participate. This was a legendary miscommunication that stemmed from a comment made by Zwigoff describing the intense nine years of production. During that time, Zwigoff was living off of “about $200 a month and living with back pain so intense that I spent three years with a loaded gun on the pillow next to my bed, trying to get up the nerve to kill myself.” It’s from this statement that Roger Ebert clarified the film may have saved Zwigoff’s life, meaning that his obsession with completing the film might’ve tempered his suicidal impulses.

Although Zwigoff and Crumb actually were very good friends at the time the film as made (they still are and once even played in a 1920s-style string band together), it is true that Crumb was hesitant to make the film, and it’s easy to see why. While Crumb has always portrayed himself as a sort of deviant/pervert/degenerate, he is most definitely the most normal one in his family. The Crumb boys grew up with a pill-addicted mother and a violent alcoholic father. Crumb also features Robert Crumb’s brothers, Maxon and Charles and both come off like victims of parental-inflicted PTSD.

Charles—a brilliant artist in his own right and R. Crumb’s childhood artistic collaborator—identified as a pedophile, and though he never acted on his urges, he refused to leave his mother’s house. He committed suicide by overdose in 1993. Maxon Crumb is more functional, and a talented painter (as per the family genre, he portrays incredibly disturbing sexual subjects like incest and abuse). Despite his own sexual obsessions, Maxon remains celibate, as he believes sex causes him seizures, although he admits to molesting women and girls. 

In spite of all this, it’s an incredibly moving portrait of an artist—and there is grateful sense of relief at the film’s end, when R. Crumb and his family leave behind Maxon, Charles and their mother for France.
 

 
Via Network Awesome

Posted by Amber Frost
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09.03.2015
11:16 am
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Red, White and Blue Sleaze: Al Goldstein’s infamous ‘Midnight Blue’ cable access program

Al Goldstein holding a copy of Lenny Bruce's book,
 
The term “public” or “cable access” can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For some, visions of two bewigged Aerosmith loving dudes in their basement immediately spring to mind, even though that film came out well over 20 years ago. (There’s a harrowing thought for you!)

For others, the term means a mode of truly democratic expression, free from Madison Avenue standards and middle-of-the-road network TV conventions. One cable access show that fit that bill to the extent of challenging community standards was Al Goldstein’s brilliant and often infamous Midnight Blue.
 
Midnight Blue Title Screen
 
Starting in 1974 on Manhattan cable, Midnight Blue went on to have a lifespan of over 25 years, making it more tenacious of an animal than any of its peers. Most TV shows are lucky to make it the ten-year mark, much less 25. Taking all of the cultural subversiveness and unapologetic sleaze from its progenitor, Screw magazine, Midnight Blue challenged first amendment issues, scored some brilliant interviews and featured some of the strangest commercials to have emerged in the sexual Wild Wild West era of the 70’s and early 80’s. We’re talking swingers clubs, including the notorious Plato’s Retreat, phone sex lines, some rather unfriendly looking vibrators and, my own personal favorite, synthetic cocaine. Where else were you going to see an ad for faux coke? It certainly wasn’t running during Too Close for Comfort!
 
Got a hot date? Pick up some Synth Coke!
 
The beating heart and soul of Midnight Blue was the man himself, the late, great and inimitable Al Goldstein. A larger than life figure, whose humor, rage, smarts, self-effacement and pure dedication to speaking his mind no matter what consequences may emerge, Goldstein was the living definition of brass balls. Whether it was bragging about his cunnilingus skills, ranting about any number of hypocritical politicos and Hollywood celebs, ranting about a photo lab store in Queens, ranting about the sandwich he had earlier or just ranting in general, any chance of a dull moment was neatly incinerated by the presence of Al Goldstein.
 

 
One of the hallmarks of Midnight Blue was the wild array of interviews featured on the show. Over its tenure, the guest list ranged from adult industry pioneers like Harry Reems and Georgina Spelvin to celebrities like Debbie Harry, R. Crumb and the absolute zenith, Gilbert Gottfried. The Gottfried interview is a thing of comedic divine wonder, as if the humor gods snorted a megaton of amphetamine and then touched the shoulder of the already brilliant comedian. It’s a riffing onslaught that involves oral sex and Colonel Sanders, among other topics. Seeing Goldstein laugh so hard that he can barely wheeze out a question is the proverbial cherry on that cake.
 

 
The beauty of both a publication like Screw, as well as having an access show like Midnight Blue is the proto-punk rock nature of it all. There are some that tend to write off both creatures as just another passenger car on the smut train but doing so is not only an injustice to Goldstein and company’s hard work, it is an injustice to yourself. Subversiveness and a willingness to explore sexuality as the strange, multi-faceted creature it is, ruled Goldstein’s work. The man was openly bisexual back in the 1960’s and in fact, Screw was one of the very few adult related mags that would advertise both straight and gay films. (For more information, definitely check out Mike Edison’s brilliant book, Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!) If you look at Midnight Blue et al and all you see is tits, then you are only seeing the most obvious, superficial layer.

Years later, a lot of the cultural hangups that were attacked front and center on Midnight Blue are still the same. If anything, it feels like our culture has devolved a little bit since the apex of Goldstein’s work. The communication landscape has most definitely changed. Print medium, while still existent, has become more and more overshadowed by its digital counterparts. Cable access still exists, but has dwindled significantly over the years, though its seeds have sprouted into sites like YouTube, Vimeo and millions of blogs. But no matter what, the legacy of Al Goldstein and Midnight Blue will always live on as a surely pure testament to the necessity of thumbing your nose at the status quo and creating something irreverent, id driven and occasionally really sharp. Midnight Blue might be cold in the hard ground at this point but its spirit, thanks in part to DVD companies like Blue Underground and the aforementioned YouTube, will continue to live on. And with that, so will the legacy of Al Goldstein. There will never be another.

Posted by Heather Drain
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02.10.2014
08:19 am
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A meeting of two dirty minds: Al Goldstein interviews R. Crumb in 1988
07.13.2012
01:38 pm
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In 1988, Al Goldstein visited R. Crumb at his home in Encinitas, CA. for a video-taped interview.

Crumb seems more than a little uncomfortable with Goldstein’s attempts to get the cartoonist to cough up intimate details of his sex life. What was Crumb expecting? A discussion of collectible 78 r.p.m. records, ol’ time jazz and Mr. Natural? No. Al just wants to talk about blow jobs, masturbation and poontang. It’s kind of fun to see one of the great taboo-busting provocateurs of the Sixties, Crumb, squirming like a 15-year-old virgin as New York’s most lovable smut peddler leans into him like a Times Square hustler with a pocket full of French ticklers and Night Train on his breath.
 
Watch the interview after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Marc Campbell
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07.13.2012
01:38 pm
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R. Crumb predicted Facebook over 40 years ago
05.02.2012
05:54 am
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image
 
The past says hello to the future.

Posted by Marc Campbell
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05.02.2012
05:54 am
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R. Crumb’s reject New Yorker cover art
11.11.2011
04:08 pm
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Nadja Sayej got the bottom of why the New Yorker didn’t use this art by Robert Crumb: They never told him...

Did the rejection offend you?
I’m in a privileged position because I don’t need the money. 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. I don’t know what the usual policy is, but I was given no explanation from David Remnick, the editor in chief, who makes the final decisions.

Has the New Yorker attempted to commission work from you since this cover?
Yeah, Françoise [Mouly, the art editor] keeps mailing me these form letters, which they send to various artists they like to use. It says something like, “OK, so here are the topics for upcoming covers.” They send it out a couple of times a year or something. But it’s a form letter, not a personal letter.

Did you receive an apology?
An apology? I don’t expect an apology. But if I’m going to work for them I need to know the criteria for why they accept or reject work. The art I made, it only really works as a New Yorker cover. There’s really no other place for it. But they did pay me beforehand—decent money. I have no complaint there. I asked Françoise what was going on with it and she said, “Oh, Remnick hasn’t decided yet…” and he changed his mind several times about it. I asked why and she didn’t know. Several months passed. Then one day, I got the art back in the mail, no letter, no nothing.

The Gayest Story Ever Told (Vice)

Via The Daily What

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.11.2011
04:08 pm
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R. Crumb on the differences between France and America and ‘senior sex’
11.11.2010
11:23 am
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Dangerous Minds pal Deborah Vankin published a terrific interview with the great Robert Crumb on the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex blog today. Of particular note, the part where the expat artist discusses coming home and how he feels about American culture these days:

Deborah Vankin: You left the U.S. 19 years ago — how’s life in France?

Crumb: It’s good, life is good here. Good quality of life. All I can say is: You can keep Los Angeles. No, seriously, what’s not to like? You’re not constantly bombarded … there’s some room to breathe from that constant corporate propaganda that America is saturated with. You don’t know how saturated you are with that. Here it’s not to the degree that it is there. They resisted. The French hold onto their traditions. I was always so alienated in America.  My work was this constant reaction to that. And I don’t have that here. So it’s different.

Deborah Vankin: That must have some influence on your work.

Crumb: Yeah, probably. I couldn’t characterize exactly how, but I’m sure it has. Maybe I’m less angry. I don’t know. Actually, I’m not less angry. When I go back to America, after a few days I am once again filled with this kind of angry alienation and disgust with this thing there that America has got – you have no idea how pervasive it is there. The public relations and propaganda put out by the corporate mono-culture there is so pervasive. When I’m over here, I look at America and think,‘Why are people not more angry about what’s going on? Why are the people not more up in arms?’ I mean the banks and all that stuff? Good God. How can they stand it? The thing about the corporate approach is it’s smart and it knows how to distract people really well with entertainment. It doesn’t just take, it gives back in this smarmy way… they give you this seemingly McDonald’s version of the good life which is completely phony and fake, from top to bottom. It pacifies the people.

Read more: R. Crumb on greed, senior sex and life in France: ‘I’m a lot less angry’ (Los Angeles Times)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.11.2010
11:23 am
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R. Crumb and The Revolution: Motor City Comics #1
08.17.2010
01:10 pm
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R. Crumb’s Motor City Comics #1, “the only true workingman’s comic book,” featuring Lenore Goldberg and Her Girl Commandos. Another gem from “The Lizard Collection” over at Little Green Footballs.  I like the back cover even more than the front. From Crumb’s Marxist phase? Nicely!
 
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Thank you Charles Johnson!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.17.2010
01:10 pm
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For the New Age Seeker on Your Xmas List: Mr. Natural Sneakers
09.18.2009
08:47 pm
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Four different R. Crumb shoes are due to hit store shelves on Oct. 1; two in the Vans Classics collections—including the Mr. Natural deconstructed SK8-Hi pictured above ($60) and a classic slip-on featuring Fritz the Cat ($52)—will be available through regular Vans vendors.

Two additional higher-end styles (using suede and leather) will be sold through Vans Vault accounts; a “Modern America” Chukka boot ($95) and a “Keep on Truckin’ ” Authentic ($90).

Via The LA Times

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.18.2009
08:47 pm
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