The R. Crumb sketchbook: June 1975-February 1977

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Fantagraphics Books, Mar 2, 2005 - Design - 160 pages
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R. Crumb is undoubtedly the foremost cartoonist of the latter 20th Century, and his sketchbooks--in which he has written and drawn continually from the early 1960s to present--might rank as his finest achievement, Fantagraphics is proud to present these sketchbooks, in facsimile form, as a comprehensive series of volumes that will eventually run well over 4000 pages. Volume 10, covering mid-1975 through early 1977, is the latest and it represents one of the more inquisitive and soul-searching periods in this phenomenal artist's life. These sketchbooks represent, in essence, something never before achieved in the field of art and literature: a single, unified, organic, (and ongoing) life's work. Even more so than the painter Frida Kahl's drawn diaries, Crumb's sketchbooks are, as a body of work, incomparable in their magnitude, scope, and intensity, and therein lies their uniqueness and value. Unrecognizable as straight autobiography, these books chronicle Crumb's perceptions more than his life itself. As such, they offer a rare and often raw insight into process: how ideas are formed, how connections are made, how technique and craft are honed, and how the ability to "see" is truly cultivated. The cumulative effect of these sketchbooks is to narrow the gap between the artist and his art; or, to put it another way, to create such an intimacy as to render the profound connection between art and humanity palpable. These sketchbooks also stand as a monumental existential document. Crumb repeatedly expresses, through a variety of of penetrating and coruscating visual metaphors, the central existentialist struggle: to live in the full light of consciousness with all the risk, pain andsuffering that entails. Nowhere is this more apparent than in this tenth volume, which coincides with the disintegration of the late-1960s counterculture that made him famous. Like every volume in the series, though. Volume 10 offe

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Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Copyright

6 other sections not shown

About the author (2005)

Robert Crumb was born in Philadelphia on Aug. 30, 1943. In 1962 Crumb got his first real job as an illustrator at American Greetings in Cleveland. The tedious work had him on the brink of quitting until he was promoted to the role of illustrator for the slightly edgier Hi-Brow line. After sending an early Fritz the Cat cartoon to Kurtzman at Help! magazine, Crumb received the following note from him: "We really liked the cat cartoon, but we're not sure how we can print it and stay out of jail." But print it they did. Soon Crumb was working as Kurtzman's assistant at the short-lived Help! The turning point in Crumb's career came in 1965, when he took some LSD. He stopped writing his characters from life and created his most inspired character, Mr. Natural. Zap Comics, consisting entirely of Crumb art, debuted in 1967, with Crumb and his wife selling the first issue on San Francisco street corners. Underground comics are now remembered as an indispensable part of the era, but it was Zap that blazed the trail. Crumb's rambling, hallucinogenic, sexually explicit cartoons became the visual expression of the Haight-Ashbury scene. Particularly memorable was his "Keep on Truckin" image. Keep on Truckin', along with Fritz the Cat and his cover art for Big Brother and the Holding Company's "Cheap Thrills" album, helped make Crumb famous, an icon of the hippie scene. By late 1969 Crumb had joined with S. Clay Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Gilbert Shelton, Spain Rodriguez and Robert Williams to create the seven-member Zap Collective, which published copies of the magazine sporadically for the next two decades. Crumb also turned out voluminous work in publications with titles like "Weirdo," "Black and White," "Big Ass Comics" and "People's Comics," in which he killed off Fritz the Cat in 1972, whom he came to despise.

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