R. Crumb's Sex Obsessions


61 Responses to “R. Crumb's Sex Obsessions”

  1. Robbo says:

    If I was ever to blow a wad of cash on something so completely inconsequential and meaningless it would be this – cuz it means so much to me.




    Maybe I’ll just have to be a scumbag freeloader and wait for some kind soul to pump a digital copy onto the Pirate Bay – but, of course, it won’t be the same – in order to truly enjoy such grand smut as this you need the tactile experience of the greasy well-thumbed pages in hand.

    Perhaps I’ve said too much.


  2. BingoTheChimp says:

    Swift’s work, taken on its own merit, comes off as satire. Crumb’s work, without intimate knowledge of the author, appears bigoted and chauvanistic.

    I disagree. I think Crumb’s work comes off every bit as satirical. I don’t know much about Crumb’s or Swift’s personal life, so I just take it as I see it. You could argue that Crumb’s satire fails, in your opinion, if you think it’s too subtle. But all your arguments so far are subjective, based on your dislike of the material. Nobody here has proved OR disproved anything about his personal opinions. It’s irrelevant.

    Again, just looking at the art without much knowledge of the artist, I would say his work is somewhat misogynistic — then again, same could be said for Picasso’s work. Does that mean we should censor it? Hardly. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have to wonder if Redsquid isn’t actually Crumb himself, messing with us. If that is true, Mr. Crumb, I truly admire your work.

  4. Halloween Jack says:

    Retail price is $700.

    What?!? That is just insane in the motherfucking membrane, given how much of this material was originally produced for printing on cheap newsprint and sold in headshops to hippies who could barely focus on the words. For $700, I’d expect part of the package to include a print that R. Crumb illustrated and hand-colored that would specifically depict my sexual fetish(es).

  5. Locobot says:

    $700 is ridiculous, but there is a seller on Amazon selling it for $331.99 (with FREE super saver blah blah). That’s actually approaching a reasonable price for something with a print run of 1000. Still, I’ll just wait and download this at some point. It kind of sucks they didn’t have the confidence that they’d be able to sell 14,000 copies at $50.

  6. Anonymous says:


    You talk about Swift as if he were the only satirist. So swift hit you over the head with a shiny Mackerel, great. More people in his day saw Gulliver’s Travels as a children’s book, and didn’t know it was satire. He had to publish much of his work under a pseudonym due to such misunderstandings.

    The fact of the matter is that many of the best works of satire are mistaken for being works of truth because they stem from deep (and sometimes painful) truths. And they’re mistaken by people who either *choose* to see them that way or refuse to think beyond their own limitations of what is “acceptable” expression.

    Further examples are that many people thought Chaplin’s the Little Dictator was actually anti-American. History has shown how absurd that is. Many people on the Right think Stephen Colbert is actually on their side.

    You know very little of Swift and even less of Crumb. You don’t understand his work, and therefore mistakenly categorize it as something it isn’t.

    For example, you mistake someone’s point about his current wife being a women means he’s not a sexist… um… no… she’s a JEw. His *second* Jewsih wife, actually.

  7. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    Happy now?

  8. Brainspore says:

    Secret fantasies revealed?” I shudder to think what could be weirder than the fantasies he’s already published over the last 30 years or so.

  9. andygates says:

    #52, Eh, what can I say? A fetish is a fetish. Crumb amazons for the win. :)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wow… I want that book, anyone let me borrow it?

  11. TroofSeeker says:

    Oh, he do love dem big meaty Jewish goils. In his fantasies, anyway. And even bigger black wimmin. Seems more like obsession than any kind of hate. Angelfood McSpade? “Dat’s one fine wommin!”

  12. lysdexia says:

    Zounds! That’s a metric crap-load of money.

    “I like it with just the cap”, indeed.

  13. Anonymous says:

    seriously thinking about taking out a loan for this one. whatever fuels his genius — i am interested.

  14. hokano says:

    Anon 6:49pm wrote: “His *second* Jewsih[sic] wife, actually.”

    Even Jewsiher than the first, one supposes.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Too bad for Crumb he is one of the only people in the world to share his sex obsessions. Is there really an audience for this very-particular Amazon-female fetish crap? A limited-run of 1000 copies would indicate, “no”.

  16. cosanostradamus says:

    For those who are too young to have enjoyed it while it was still fresh & hot, the Sixties in general and the “underground comics” of the era were pre-PC, and all about complete freedom & untrammeled self-expression. The artists and the booksellers were hunted and hounded from all sides for just that.

    Musicians & performers like Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison, and artists & writers like Rick Griffin, S. Clay Wilson and R. Crumb presented us with our own Id’s, squirming & stinking in the unaccustomed daylight. If you weren’t offended by any of it, you weren’t alive. The attitude was, “This is YOUR guts, M-F’er! DEAL with it! Bwah-haw-haw-ha!!!” Drugs and the general chaos of the times may have had something to do with it.

    Crumb himself was a character in his own comix, even in life, a sort of nebbishy Everyman boiling over with embarrassing thoughts & emotions. Rather than pretending that they didn’t exist, as previous generations had, or trying to force himself into a political straight-jacket, as the next wave would demand, Crumb insisted on not only showing but being our own inner -ssh-le.

    Maybe it was psychosis or neurosis on Crumb’s part, but scenes from those comix actually helped start a lot of conversations that previously would have been taboo, between men and women, gays and straights, blacks & whites, Christians and Jews, and started a dialogue that, unfortunately, has led to dogma in some quarters. As any one of Crumb’s characters might have said, “F**k ‘em if they can’t take a joke!”

    Crumb’s way of examining & criticizing society’s -ssh-les, and his own irrational inner demons, was to draw them out, write them up, expose them on the pages of his comix. It was up to you to deal with it. Cassandra was a seer, not a politician or a prosecutor. If you don’t like what you see in that mirror, blinding or banning the artist or the seer who holds the mirror up won’t help. If it makes you uncomfortable, that’s a good sign. There’s hope for you. That was Crumb’s intention, maybe. Or maybe he just thinks you’re an -ssh-le, too. Dunno. Don’t know the guy. But neither do you.


    The LA Library says books will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no books. But we’re talking Zap Comix fans here. I’m afraid they might think that pot will get them through times of no books better than books will get them through times of no pot.

    I’ll be looking on the remainder tables in my local perverted book stores.

    That’s stores that sell perverted books, not perverted bookstores. I think. Got a match?

  17. StRevAlex says:

    Rule #1: Anyone who doesn’t like R. Crumb is a fool.

    A Damned Fool.

  18. Man On Pink Corner says:

    In other news, Taschen books are generally pretty damned awesome.

  19. nosehat says:

    @45 Cosanostradamus:

    Nice post, but what’s a “-ssh-le”?

  20. redsquid says:

    Being an apologist for the bigot author of such classics as ‘When the Nggrs Take Over America’ and ‘When the Goddam Jews take over America’ is a wonderful thing! When will we turn our backs on this sad little hack?

  21. Takuan says:

    (hoarse whisper a la Homer: “I think he means asshole!”)

  22. UnnecessaryUmlaut says:

    That’s a lotta piggy-back rides.


  23. Anonymous says:

    His past life was a male humpback anglerfish….

  24. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    Yeah, as if Crumb wasn’t using satire to make a point about bigotry. I suppose you think Swift should have been ignored for his suggestion to sell babies to rich people for food?

  25. nosehat says:

    Thanks Takuan! I was grouping the letters wrong, so it didn’t click.

    “Crumb insisted on not only showing but being our own inner -ssh-le”

    Ooh, I didn’t realize I had one inside too.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hey, Mark, I’m just a working man. If I didn’t sell the babies to the rich people somebody else would, you know. They’re just so damn tasty! Ask Takuan, I sold him a six-pack last week.

  27. Brainspore says:

    I assume RedSquid knows relatively little about the author and his longstanding creative partnerships with Jews and blacks. I also assume RedSquid either didn’t read the books in question (past the titles, anyway) or doesn’t understand the concept of “satire.”

  28. redsquid says:

    Yeah that ‘satire’ argument wears thin after a while. His tripe is linked on stormfront for christ’s sake. Comix fanboys bend over backwards to justify these works, but the pieces in question don’t read as satire. Is it possible that he’s just a pathetic, sexist racist?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      His tripe is linked on stormfront for christ’s sake.

      Tomorrow Belongs to Me is a song written by two Jews for an anti-fascist musical. It’s now an anthem for white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Stormfront even gives it an apocryphal history as a real Hitler Youth song. Are Fred Ebb and John Kander fascists for writing it?

  29. mdh says:

    @redsquid –

    Swift’s work, taken on its own merit, comes off as satire.

    right back atcha

  30. Takuan says:

    about that six-pack; you SAID they were de-boned…

  31. Brainspore says:

    @ Redsquid:

    It’s possible, but I find it pretty unlikely since it seems like the majority of his professional collaborations have been with Jews. He’s also written a book about his personal heroes of Blues and Jazz- which would be a rather unorthodox subject for someone who hates black people.

    Maybe you know Robert Crumb better than, say, Harvey Pekar of American Splendor fame, but I kind of doubt it.

  32. redsquid says:

    Yeah brainspore, you know what happens when you assume? Citing his collaborations with blacks and jews is about as viable as the ‘I’m not a racist- I have lots of black friends’ argument. His pieces don’t reach the level of literary merit that Swift achieves- they just rehash lame old stereotypes. He brings nothing new to the mix.

  33. redsquid says:

    Antinous- Tomorrow Belongs to Me doesn’t throw around inflamatory images and try to pass it off with a nudge and a wink, I’m just kidding justification. Apples and oranges.

  34. Cowicide says:

    #5 POSTED BY ANONYMOUS, JUNE 29, 2009 2:11 PM
    Too bad for Crumb he is one of the only people in the world to share his sex obsessions. Is there really an audience for this very-particular Amazon-female fetish crap? A limited-run of 1000 copies would indicate, “no”.

    Yes, too bad.

    Because as well all know, nothing is cool… nothing is worth pursuing… and nothing is satisfying unless the teeming masses bustle for position to lap it up with you.


    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Is there really an audience for this very-particular Amazon-female fetish crap?

      I have a friend who is very into what we refer to as Frankenstein Barbies, although in this illustration she’s more of a Frankenstein Heidi. He likes women who are five inches taller than him, very muscular and have doll faces and hairdos. So, yeah, there is an audience.

  35. Brainspore says:

    @ Redsquid:

    Literary merit is a matter of personal opinion.

    The opinion of the people familiar with Crumb (including Jews and blacks) is that he is not a bigot. Proving the matter either way would require some kind of mind-reading device, but short of that I see more evidence that Crumb is a satirist than a racist.

  36. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Is there really an audience for this very-particular Amazon-female fetish crap? Part II

    I emailed the post to my friend and he assures me that he’s already availing himself of the image in a wholly inappropriate way.

  37. Takuan says:

    when were these works made?

  38. Tdawwg says:

    Crumb’s wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb is Jewish, RedSquid. Better quit while you’re, um, way behind but still in the race? While not everybody is laughing at you? You get the idea!

  39. redsquid says:

    So his marriage makes the work in question less racist? Once again the ‘I have lots of black friends’ argument doesn’t pan out. OMG he married a woman! That proves he wasn’t a sexist!

  40. Tdawwg says:

    It’s just that you’re trying to draw a one-to-one correspondence between 1) art that you find objectionable and 2) an artist whose private life you know zilch about. So, no, indeed, his Jewish wife isn’t a great key to his work, but what’s more likely: 1) his work is satire and he’s not a racist, sexist, etc., which happens to be the overwhelming opinion of his peers and fans OR 2) that he’s a racist, sexist, evil man, for which opinion we have you as the sole proponent? ‘Cmon, man!

    At the very least, his Jewish wife at least strongly, strongly suggests he’s not an anti-Semite, so you can drop that Stormfront garbage non-argument. (What were you doing on that site, anyway? Researching commix?)

  41. Brainspore says:

    Redsquid, most bigots who try the “I have lots of black friends” argument can’t actually produce said black friends, much less publish a book dedicated to their black heroes. Likewise most anti-semites can’t produce a Jew from their own bedroom.

    Your arguments made a lot more sense when I thought you were merely ignorant.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:


      Unless you have some new evidence to present, please stop saying the same thing over and over.

  42. colin says:

    We have this crazy book at Last Gasp online store for $500, a bit less than Amazon. http://www.lastgasp.com/d/32060/
    And a lot of other great books by Crumb, some of which we published, and many of which are much cheaper than the above-mentioned title: http://www.lastgasp.com/1/10/Robert+Crumb/0/
    If the shipping’s a problem on the Sex Obsessions book, give us a call and we can work something out.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Taschen always makes some sweet albeit outrageously priced art books. SUMO comes to mind.

    Here is the book for an affordable $20


  44. redsquid says:

    I guess what it comes down to is if you have cool enough lefty cred you can throw around racist and sexist stereotypes and get a pass? How does one join that club? Swift’s work, taken on its own merit, comes off as satire. Crumb’s work, without intimate knowledge of the author, appears bigoted and chauvanistic. It just recycles images of hate.
    I was ‘on stormfront’ because I had to do a google search to be sure I had the titles right. It was one of the first few sites on the list which shows that Crumb’s work serves them quite well. Nice attempt to bring my politics into question.

  45. redsquid says:

    So full of win! Wonderful.

  46. Brainspore says:

    @ Redsquid:

    Not a Mel Brooks fan, I take it.

  47. Takuan says:

    squid, how old are you?

  48. Tdawwg says:

    Hey, you brought it up. Why so sensitive about your Stormfront visit(s)? If so sensitive, why mention it?

    For “appears,” simply substitute “appears to me,” explain why, and then you’d have the beginnings of an argument.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Crumb does NOT have only one offspring. He also has a son.

  50. danno1 says:

    This is just Sex Obsessions. How far into the future with they be talking about Robert Crumb’s Book Of Genesis and it isn’t even out yet!

  51. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    But how do you know Crumb’s a bigot, Redsquid?

  52. UstinJay says:

    Hey! There’s a bookstore right around me that has this book in first edition and perfect condition for only 200 dollars. Think I’m gonna head over and buy it tomorrow.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Redsquid’s entitled to think Crumb’s work is racist and sexist in itself, and that Crumb is a racist and a sexist. Few are the people who have never done a thing in their entire lives to trigger the R and S labels. Crumb’s not my bag of tea either. I think he’s most interesting as an artifact of a particular time period. It’s interesting that that kind of stuff was popular then.

  54. nemryn says:

    @5: Is there really an audience for this very-particular Amazon-female fetish crap?
    Hi, welcome to the Internet! There’s an audience here for everything.

  55. TroofSeeker says:

    I collected first editions of ZAP and Crumb’s works while working in a headshop in’69. His crap was funny then, to Jews, Blacks, women, sewer snoids, the Idget and the Widget, Squirrely Squirrel, Flakey Foont, Angelfood McSpade, and everbody that stumbled in. Stoners, basically. Even the cops. It wasn’t about hate at all. If you knew his work you’d understand that he loves blacks, Jews and women.
    He made fun of everybody, especially himself.
    Robert Crumb hasn’t changed. Times have changed. No, it’s not PC nowadays.
    It’s that same old rediculous knucklehead- an American Treasure. I loved him then, I love him now.
    If you don’t like what you see, move on.

  56. strangefriend says:

    And his daughter Sophie is a Jew since her mother is a Jew. In fact, since the daughter is his only offspring, the Crumb bloodline is now officially Jewish. I hope some Stormfront type reads this, & gets a brain hemorrhage.
    Crumb also did a strip about him & his brother Max bringing a black friend home while their grandmother was there, and then being mortified when she started to sneer at blacks.
    Crumb said he drew his sexual fantasies for catharsis. Probably he drew the racist stuff for catharsis also. An exorcism of the monsters from the Id.

  57. Anonymous says:

    What was Redsquid’s decree about the illustrator for this New Yorker cover? I can’t find it in the World According to Redsquid.

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