Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.38: Robert Crumb

No.38: Robert Crumb

If this list was about cultural icons connected to the medium, Robert Crumb would no doubt have come much higher. With so many books, movies and documentaries celebrating his life and work in the public domain it’s hard to be concise about what matters here – his artwork. Words: Andrew Colman…

Crumb’s career has gone through many stages, while his art, for most of it, has gradually been refined over the decades. Throughout his early key period in the late ‘60s, from Zap 1 onwards, Crumb’s work was looser, more cartoonish and narcotic, his characters inhabiting the same wigged out hippie enclave that was San Francisco that he and his colleagues did. Establishing himself as the cornerstone and icon of the underground comix movement, Crumb’s work very quickly became prolific and dynamic, his bizarre, at times emetic stories underpinned by satire and a unique misanthropy – yet his characters were always human (with one or two exceptions!). From Fritz the Cat to Mr. Natural to the Snoid to Whiteman to Lenore Goldberg and countless others, his storytelling was compulsive and betrayed the desire to both push the envelope and be confessional – his visual language, influenced as it was by Harvey Kurtzman and seminal humour comic Mad, was that of the uninhibited outsider but also the classicist.

And yet there was always quality and depth in his art, the delineation of his characters and indeed their milieu. As Crumb’s work became more focused from the mid-70s onwards, his illustrations evoked not just America but the Americana that had always fascinated him – his stories developing a retro component that had elements and tropes from the early 20th century. From the 80s onwards, when he had started Weirdo, Crumb was still producing satirical work (mainly about himself and his proclivities) but he was also drawing albums about Jazz and Blues musicians and Kafka with brio, detail and muted subtlety.

Crumb, in his lengthy and frequently controversial career has been a uniquely gifted artist who, despite being the sideshow to the mainstream comic industry, is every bit as significant – the corrective to and skewed mirror of Marvel and DC.  His work has in no small way embodied the underbelly, id and departed past of American culture, railing at his country’s delusion, hypocrisy and overbearing mythology, as well as the establishment. He has also fostered the careers of many autobiographical cartoonists and comic artists, such as Peter Bagge, Dan Clowes, Seth, Chester Brown, Joe Matt and many others. As much a part of the bedrock of the medium as Kirby and Eisner, he obviously can never be overlooked, and indeed would be of interest even to those who have no genuine interest in comics.

 

Here’s links through to the other entries in our 101 Greatest so far as well

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.39: Mac Raboy

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.41: Jim Starlin

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.42: Mike Zeck

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.43: Adam Hughes

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.44: Daniel Clowes

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.45: Gene Colan

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.46: George Perez

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.47: Michael William Kaluta

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.48: Cary Nord

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.49: Frank Quitely

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.50: Mike Ploog

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.51: Johnny Craig

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.52: Darwyn Cooke

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.53: Steve Dillon

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.54: Gil Kane

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.55: Michael Zulli

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.56: John Romita

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.57: Joe Maneely

 

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.58: Marshall Rogers

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.59: John Severin

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.60: Alex Toth

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.61: Brian Bolland

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.62: David Mazzuchelli

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.63 Reed Crandall

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.64 Harry Anderson

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.65 Nick Cardy

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.66 Matt Wagner

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.67 Bryan Hitch

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.68 Shawn Martinbrough

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.69 Al Feldstein

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.70 Nestor Redondo

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.71 Tarpe Mills

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.72 Eduardo Risso

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.73 JH Williams III

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.74 Irv Novick

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.75 Dan Zolnerowich

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.76 Gilbert Shelton

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.77 Tommy Lee Edwards

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.78: Sean Phillips

 

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.79: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.80: Dan DeCarlo

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.81: Marie Severin

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.82: John Paul Leon

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.83: Jim Lee

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.84: Denys Cowan

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.85: Ross Andru

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.86: Paul Gustavson

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.87: George Evans

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.88: Michael Golden

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.89: Matt Baker

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.90: Todd McFarlane

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.91: Fiona Staples

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.92: Carl Barks

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.93: Carmine Infantino

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.94: Alan Davis

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.95: CC Beck

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.96: Syd Shores

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.97: Bob Fujitani

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.98: Tim Sale

Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.99: Jim Aparo

https://tripwiremagazine.co.uk/headlines/tripwires-101-greatest-comic-artists-of-all-time-no-100/

https://tripwiremagazine.co.uk/headlines/tripwires-101-greatest-comic-artists-of-all-time-no-101/

 

The post Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.38: Robert Crumb appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.

No.38: Robert Crumb If this list was about cultural icons connected to the medium, Robert Crumb would no doubt have come much higher. With so many books, movies and documentaries celebrating his life and work in the public domain it’s hard to be concise about what matters here – his artwork. Words: Andrew Colman… Crumb’s career
The post Tripwire’s 101 Greatest Comic Artists Of All Time: No.38: Robert Crumb appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.Read MoreTRIPWIRE MAGAZINE

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