Complete Crumb Comics, Vol. 14
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From Library Journal
As the title suggests, this is a collection of cartoons culled from Crumb's first few years at the helm of Weirdo, the magazine he created for those who, like him, "hate everything." Crumb takes his readers on a tour through his bizarre psyche, offering such treats as "Nukuler Holocaust Kicks" and "Uncle Bob's Mid-Life Crisis." The variety of drawing styles, coupled with narratives that are as different from each other as they are bizarre, are a testament to Crumb's twisted genius. Also included (in full color) are the first eight covers of Weirdo as well as three pages depicting trading cards featuring early jazz musicians. This collection is a fascinating insight into one of the most talented and intriguing cartoonists to have graced us with his art. The entire series is highly recommended.DVincent Au, New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fourteen volumes into premier underground cartoonist Crumb's collected pencilings, we at last reach one of his finest hours, so to speak. That was the dawning of Weirdo, a Booklist-sized magazine full of comics, both drawn and photographed--a European style that Crumb loved but many Weirdo readers disdained, so he gave it up well before the irregular serial folded. Nor do the photo-funnies reappear here; after all, they were posed, not drawn. Crumb was Weirdo's editor, an exceedingly permissive one who published many unknowns as well as himself and other established undergrounders. His Weirdo work treats his favorite themes--sex and other appetites--with his trademark outrageousness and superb, unmistakable drawing style, even when he decides to illustrate a classic, such as James Boswell's eighteenth-century journal of his dalliances. Besides the Weirdo stuff, artwork published contemporaneously elsewhere appears, including more of Crumb's collaborations with Harvey Pekar, otherwise collected in the splendid (really--look at the title) American Splendor Presents Bob & Harv's Comics (1994). Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book starts off slow and unexciting, like a slow-rolling ride at an amusement park, but not badly, with a not-terribly-titillating introduction by the artist and a four or six black and white comics he illustrated for Harvey Pekar which have a strange effect on me as if they are both great and underwhelming at the same time. Then the book steps up into the story from which the cover drawing came. Not my favorite Crumb character, that coneheaded fellow, but it began to wake me up. Ah. Then a faux 2-page advertisement, MAD magazine style, "Weirdo makeovers" which -- nah, it's not enjoyable to me either but only took up 2 pages, then we go into 6 or 10 pages of various and sundry stuff, some I like a lot, other things, eh. Then the comic about Sharon & Karen meeting the famous rock star Boz. (I guess that means Scaggs?) Interesting and strange! Then a weird comic one-pager I don't like the art enough to read yet, then a "klassic komic" where Crumb illustrates part of a diary of a guy that lived in London 1762-63, which I found somewhat fascinating, I'll skip the next section over to his 5-page remembrance of the Sixties. Great stuff! Oh, and I just LOVE the way he illustrated the lyrics to a few songs, showing what those songs made him think of. The one for the song "My Guy" had me laughing out loud!
There's a whole mixed bag of stuff in this book, and that's for sure! Later in the book is a story about his mid-life crisis when he almost gave up doing comics. (So glad he made it through that!!) That was interesting, sad and funny and delightful. One particularly cute part is when it shows him dumping the "doody" from a dirty diaper while his little daughter looks on with great interest as Crumb is singing, "Bye bye Mr. Doody," hahaha. Okay. I'm sick. Only sick people read this comics I guess! But I don't hate everybody as the Amazon reviewer suggested in characterizing Crumb's fans. It's a long comic, the part about his mid-life crisis, with him messing around with a girl other than his wife, talking to his wife in the house and in bed, talking with a neighbor, fantasizing, ruminating on his record collection that he holds so dear, and finally with the happy "ending" of his getting back to drawing (and his wife threatening to cry if he doesn't draw her to make her look nicer). Great stuff! There is more, but that's all I'll mention in this review except to say I have read most of the Complete Crumb series now and I give them ALL 5 stars, so YES, I guess I'm prejudiced -- and happily so! (smile)
Robert Crumb's work beggars imagination and description. In these works from the early 1980s, he displays his usual wide range of eccentric tastes. My favorites: curmudgeonly Etoin Shrdlu lusts after the disco dancers on late night Japanese TV and is pulled into the action! Crumb illustrates a debauched slice of Boswell's London Journal! Former Catholic School girls Sharon and Karen experience a harrowing bar encounter with a scraggly Boz Scaggs! And in two separate strips, Crumb illustrates his and loner/loser George Murkoid's pathetic (and gymnastic) midlife crises and semi-flings!
Indescribable. Definitely NC-17 material if not borderline X.