While I will admit that I’ve never been a close follower of his work, it has been my general impression that most of Robert Crumb’s artistic output since the release of Terry Zwigoff’s documentary about him has been about Crumb’s bizarre persona as presented in the film. The cover of Self-Loathing Comics #1 from 1995 proclaims “Exposed! Details of R. Crumb’s everyday life!” I can’t say I’ve ever been particularly interested. Even his well-known material from the 1960s and ‘70s is so steeped in the alternative drug culture of the time that it fails to appeal to me, as someone with no particular interest in that period of history.
However, no one can deny that Crumb is an absolutely brilliant illustrator. He consistently creates comic pages of astounding detail and is possessed of an instinct for page layout and panel progressions. Watching film of him drawing, either in Zwigoff’s Crumb or in Ron Mann’s excellent comics documentary Comic Book Confidential, he makes the process look effortless. It’s too bad I find most of his work so obnoxious. Read the rest of this entry »