Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crumb is my hero

Robert Crumb, like him or not, is one of the great vernacular artists of the 20th century. He essentially buries anybody else from the world of comix, with the possible exception of the great Will Eisner. And the fact that he essentially drew his way out of the horror of his family, using and honing his visual talent as a means of holding at bay abuse, suicide, and insanity, is a textbook example of how Art really does Save Lives. The nerdy ferocity with which he defended his art, and kept drawing under all circumstances, is admirable. And brave.

If only because it can be a way to turn suffering, through effort, into beauty.

And now he's taken on one of the great stories, hopelessly perverted by millennia of opportunism:

Robert Crumb set to publish 'scandalous' Bible satire

Cartoonist Crumb's vision of the first book of the Bible said to be a 'complex, even subversive narrative that calls for a re-examination of its role in our culture'
Almost no-one who's critiqued Crumb has actually understood how deeply he understands that art is not a nostrum, not a panacea, and certainly not an action plan. He is one of the most deeply honest (as in, "here's my twisted psyche with full disclosure") artists I've ever heard of.

I admire him.

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