R. Crumb v. D. Trump, 1989 [NSFW]


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Well that seals it for me - I’m voting for Crumb.


#3

My first job, in 1979, was working in a comic book store. I was 13 at the time, and I had the job until I was almost 19. Since then, I’ve been around comics all my life. One thing I’ve never understood is the huuuuge pass Crumb gets for what is, by any standard (be it Lib, Con, Dem, Rep, whatever) his truly vile, repugnant, and at times literally sickening objectification of and treatment of women.

The irony of this BB “blast from the past” post is, well, it’s really something.

Doubtless some folks will immediately yardstick this, saying “well, Crumb isn’t running for President, you know” or “Crumb is an effing saint compared to Donald” but I believe a thing Is what it Is. Crumb is an amazingly talented artist, but he’s a genuine creep and an asshole and if Trump (or anyone on BB’s hit list) pulled a fraction of Crumb’s misogynist, hateful crap, he’d be enthusiastically excoriated here for it.


#4

And just was.


#5

Perhaps that’s (a) because Crumb’s own persona in his cartoons is that of an extremely creepy person, (b) because he has a long term marriage to a well known feminist cartoonist (…that suggests the persona in the cartoons is not his real one…) and © some people understand what “satire” means.
Crumb’s treatment of women in his cartoons is a satire on how he sees American culture - which is said to be one reason why he and his wife have lived in France for a long time.

If you actually look at the Trump cartoon posted, it’s making precisely that point.

[edit - I know what Crumb says about himself; I’m just not sure how reliable it is given his constructed persona in his work.]


#6

hating Trump before it was cool


#7

“Self-hatred is a strong motivating force in my work, not to mention my sex drive.” -R.Crumb

I guess I give Crumb a “pass” because he recognizes how messed up he is (and if we’re going to use some kind of moral measuring stick here, he would best be measured against his brothers who are all more fucked up than he-- god knows what went on in that household to produce three weirdos of that caliber.)

“Yeah I suppose I am a sexist. I’ve tried to raise my consciousness, god knows. . . I have this recurring vision that I’m standing before this tribunal of feminist women and they’re demanding I answer for the exploitation of women in my cartoons and the only answer I have is that I’m telling the truth about myself, take it or leave it.”

A large part of his art is embarrassingly confessional attempts at exorcising demons, we’re supposed to cringe.


#8

Yeah it always struck me how R. Crumb would write comix with all this social commentary and somehow always seems to work in “… and boy howdy do I love women giving me blowjobs!!”


#11

It was always cool.


#12

Heh. Well-played.


#13

This is a no duh.

p.s. you have my permission to extrapolate from that. :wink:


#14

In '79 you were looking at reissues without context.
When the underground comix started in '67 R Crumb was inspired by S. Clay Wilson - who was creating undisputable porn (Capt. Piss-Gums)
The fact that there was any social commentary was coincidental to the fact this was the popular pulp magazine for the counter-culture teenage boys and and it sold - satiric soft pornography sold in headshops where we went to get waterpipes, rolling papers and the cool blacklight posters (not the shitty ones from Spencer Gifts). It was a commercial product. Social and art value are side effects. Think Mad magazine for the pothead, hardrock, acne-prone outcast teenage boys. Our girlfriends (those of us lucky enough to have one) hated these rags.
It’s like if Betty Page pin-ups became art. … oh, wait…


#15

Have you seen the documentary on his life?


#16

This one? Crumb (1994)?


#17

Yeah. Saw it ages ago, but memory says Crumb has been through a more unique early life than most.


#18

Is Crumb an asshole?

I mean, I don’t personally know him, but “curmudgeon” seems more appropriate.

There’s a clip of him in the Terry Zwigoff documentary where he admits that one of the comics he was working on was so sexist that it really concerned him, and his wife was the one who told him to explore it-- it was something that had to come out. The muse takes you where it takes you.

Then there’s this:

So, is Crumb a racist? Was it Crumb’s intent to make something the KKK would giggle over, or to make a comic version of Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”? My guess is the latter.


#19

Why the false dichotomy? The alt-comix scene wasn’t mad magazine level satire so much as 2edgy4me racist, misogynistic trash written “ironically”. It didn’t do a good job at transcending so much as regurgitating.

I appreciated some of it growing up in the 80s and still appreciate a lot of it.

But it did relish the maliciousness of the content, I don’t think all intentions were the best.


#20

Because for a large percentage of men, women just don’t matter. Genius trumps (ahahahahaha) women.

But maybe it’s just satire… Who knows.


#21

Artists do tend to reveal to us uncomfortable facts about how they feel about women, but to be fair they can be pretty bad towards other men too. Successful artists do tend to be somewhat obsessive, in my experience. It’s an enormously competitive field in which few succeed.

The one thing you can’t level at Crumb is buying into the fashion industry’s obsession with thinness, though. Most of his women look capable of laying him out with a backhander, more Venus Williams than Milo’s Venus.


#22

I do like Crumb’s work, however sexist it had a tendency to be (which you’re right, is revealing- so at least he’s not pretending). I also think he is pretty representative of his time and place (coming out of the 60s countercultural milieu).