Video of paging through R. Crumb's illustrated Book of Genesis

The publisher of the forthcoming Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb sent me this exclusive video of an unknown person thumbing through an advance copy of what promises to be the graphic novel sensation of the year. It looks great!

(I have an advance reader's copy, which is watermarked with repeating gray logos on every page. I found it to be as distracting as trying to listen to music with static added to it. I could only read a few pages of it before I decided I should wait and read a real copy of the book when it comes out.)

Pre-order The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb on Amazon for $16.47


  1. I believe the first chapter was published in the New Yorker a few weeks ago. It takes the genius of someone like Crumb to do justice to the book of Genesis, but judging from the sample in The New Yorker, this will be a classic…

  2. I have t’confess that I don’t really get Crumb. I mean, he’s a fine illustrator, he has a distinctive style, and sometimes he’s kind of funny. I’ve seen that his style’s influenced a lotta folks.

    But I don’t get it: He’s pretty good, but I’ve seen better, more evocative illustrators with distinctive styles, much funnier cartoonists, and artists who delve into much more complex and enduring topics. He seems to me to lack any subtlety; reading his comics is like having a mediocre comedian scream in my face.

    So what’s the appeal? Is it because he was daring enough to ‘toon about sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll in the days when those were not mainstream topics? Is it just a matter of taste? Or am I mildly art-impaired?

  3. BORING! If this was done by anyone else it would be laughed off as yet another piece of crap comic book bible.

  4. Interesting. For all the praise, not a single person will defend him or try to explain his appeal. I note a similar trend when I Google around (which I did before my post): Lots of “he’s a genius” with little-to-no analysis. Is Crumb the Paris Hilton of comix? Famous because he’s famous?

  5. @QUOTHZ Some of us appreciate Crumb as a trend setter and yes, he did break through the wall of censorship that went up after the Congressional comic book hearings in the ’50s. For some of us it’s nostalgia—I was a horny, teen-age hippie when I first discovered undergrounds back in the ’60s. That being said, if you study his body of work you start to understand the point of view he brings to even the simplest illustration. Crumb is a self-aware, sexually immature, cynic who has few heroes (blues musicians, etc.). Sure, there are better illustrators but none that would deliver the Bible from his POV. I think of Crumb as the cartoonist’s Ivan Albright. He could draw/paint the loveliest subject and still make you wonder if there wasn’t something rotten just out of view.

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