The Complete Crumb Comics: Mr. Sixties!

Front Cover
Fantagraphics Books, 1997 - Humor - 144 pages
The Complete Crumb Comics Vol. 4: Mr. Sixties! continues the multi-volume series comprising the complete works of the legendary cartoonist R. Crumb, one of America's most original, trenchant, and uncompromising satirists. The series includes the earliest, heretofore unpublished comic strips, as well as his sketchbooks, underground comix, dramatic and autobiographical strips, and his classic cartoon creations Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural. In this volume: Zap #0 & #1 ("Keep On Truckin'!"), Crumb's work from the East Village Other and Yarrowstalks, plus much rare art, some of Crumb's long-lost American Greetings cards from the '60s, and more."I figured it out somehow the way to put the stoned experience into a series of cartoon panels. I began to submit LSD-inspired strips to underground papers... not for pay... never gave it a thought... but they loved them. These 1967 strips of mine contained the hopeful spirit of the times, drawn in a more lovable 'bigfoot' style. The stuff caught on. They wanted more. Suddenly I was able to churn it out... late that summer one of the underground paper publishers asked me to do an entire issue of his paper Yarrowstalks (corny hippy spiritual stuff 'yarrowstalks' are what they used to throw the 'I Ching'). This went over so well that he suggested I draw comic books and he would publish them. This was a thrilling idea to me a dream come true..." R. Crumb, from his introduction to this volume

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Contents

Where its At February 1966
14
Mr Natural Outwits Flakey Foont March 1966
23
The Sad Book title page
32

2 other sections not shown

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About the author (1997)

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.

Gary Groth is the founder of The Comics Journal and Fantagraphics Books. He lives in Seattle.