Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: The R. Crumb Sketchbook, Vol. 10: June 1975 - Feb. 1977

The R. Crumb Sketchbook, Vol. 10: June 1975 - February 1977 (2004)
Robert Crumb
Crumb indulges in both sexual and racial stereotypes in a drawing he deemed suitable for the cover.

Volume 10 of The R. Crumb Sketchbook covers the time period from June 1975 to February 1977. I recall that a handful of the more memorable pages were published in Esquire magazine at the time. R. Crumb himself selected those sheets from his sketchbook that are reproduced here. Not surprisingly, it's something of a mixed bag.

Crumb's pen-and-ink technique is quite proficient, and many of these so-called sketchbook pages really have the look of finished drawings. Others have a more tentative feel.

The domestic scenes and pictures of Aline posing are indeed quite nice. Other more disturbing pages depict abuse or acts of violence against women. These seem to highlight Crumb's psychopathology pretty explicitly.

Having talent and knowing what to do with it are two different things. Crumb's demons are intermittently on view here, and it can be difficult at times to comprehend why he's the object of so much adulation.

Crumb here looks harmless and old-fashioned

For a sketchbook drawing, this seems very finished.

Crumb has a very impressive hatching and crosshatching technique here. There is a nice sense of depth.

Angst Comics. I don't think the comic strip lives up to the title.

Crumb seems to demonstrate a Protestant work ethic even as he mocks it.

Note:  My recent post on Crumb's correspondence is here.


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