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The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book (Kitchen Sink Press Book for Back Bay Books) Paperback – October 15, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
That, to me, sums up Crumb's work - this incredibly inventive artist with, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, a head full of ideas that are drivin' him insane.
There are frequent complaints about Crumb's work being too dark, racist, sexist, and/or misogynistic. While I can see where these criticisms come from, I really don't think Crumb is any darker, more racist, sexist, or misogynistic than any of us - he simply is unafraid to - COMPELLED to, almost - lay his cards on the table. Some people find this offensive. Would it be absurd of me to suggest that some of those who are offended by his work have their own issues with sexism, racism, and/or misogyny that they are unwilling to confront?
What I'm trying to get at here, I guess, is that this IS NOT a book for little kids. There's a sticker on the front of my copy of the book that says "FOR ADULT INTELLECTUALS ONLY!", and while I'm not so sure about the "intellectuals" part, this is probably not a book you want your grade-school age child to get ahold of, unless you're okay with said child seeing depictions of graphic (and I do mean GRAPHIC) sex, hard-core drug use, and extreme (albiet cartoonish) violence.
I realize all I've spent all this space talking about Crumb without ever really discussing what I like about his work. I think there's two main things: (1) his unflinching honesty (as I touched upon earlier), and (2) the incredible beauty of his draftsmanship. I think my favotite chapter in the whole book is the one that features his pen-and-ink still-lifes and landscapes.Read more ›
I tried to read this as an autobiography, from cover to cover, taking time to carefully understand how the context of Crumb's life affected his work. Not an effective strategy. If the book wasn't so cumbersome to hold, it might have worked. But since that first reading, I've gotten much more enjoyment just laying the book open flat on a large surface, and staring at the audacious art contained herein.
The large-scale (13"x11") format has various levels of effectiveness when presenting Crumb's work. The sketchbook pages, when blown up to this size, lose their intimacy. You can see the fudges and mistakes that Crumb's made. These imperfections are beautiful in the smaller format, but become grotesque and distracting at this size. On the other hand, too often his comic book covers should have been enlarged but weren't. The details in the margins, brought out gloriously when they are blown up, can't be seen when the covers are presented as thumbnails.
Each chapter begins with a page-long, hand-written introduction by the man himself. Robert is self-effacing to a fault; you can tell that he's embarrassed by the treatment his works have been given here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You either love Crumb or you don't. This one of the best of his classic output.Published 5 days ago by George L. Guttler
MINT CONDITION AND BRINGS BACK SO MANY MEMORIES !! I HAVE SHOWN A WHOLE NEW GENERATION SOMETHING GOOD FROM THE SIXTIES !! FUN TO READ BUT CAN BE X-RATED IN PARTS !!Published 1 month ago by Steve Zapz
I bought this as a birthday present for a friend and she loved it. I too was a fan of Crumb for a while and I saw some pictures I wasn't before familiar with so I'm sure it would... Read morePublished 4 months ago by murderbymedia
This covers a lot of R Crumb's artwork from his early days at Hallmark to the comics. I bought it to study his drawing style. He's a master of crosshatching. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Chris
If you're a R.crumb fan - yes -this is a must have - need I say more?? If you don't know who R.Crumb is - try something less expensive to start.Published 7 months ago by kookie womblat
I will always love R. Crumb. Yes he is crude, but he's funny. This is like his whole entire life and career in one big book!Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you weren't a child of the psychedelic, hippie late 60's thru early 70's, get this and be there (without the drug induced forgetfulness and ruined life.Published 13 months ago by Charlie X