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.
R. Crumb talking about the ‘fuzzy’ effect LSD had on his brain in the mid-60s.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Black Sabbath—The Ten Year War’: Amazing promo artifact from 1978, with R. Crumb style artwork