Taschen announces $1000 Robert Crumb sketchbook set


I love R. Crumb's sketchbooks. I have three of them, which are facsimile editions of his sketchbooks from the 60s and 70s. I paid about $100 per volume. This six volume set for Taschen is $1000. It looks great, but I don't think I'm going to plunk down that much cash.

This six-book boxed set is the first collection of Robert Crumb sketches to be printed from the original art since the hard-bound, slipcased, seven volume series issued by the German publisher Zweitausendeins between 1981 and 1997. Unlike the Zweitausendeins edition, which included every doodle ever made by the preeminent underground artist, our best-of edition has been personally edited by the notoriously picky artist to include only what he considers his finest work, including hundreds of late period drawings not published in previous sketchbook collections. Robert Crumb requested that the books representing the second half of his career be published first due to fan demand for new Crumb material (Volumes 7-12 cover the period 1982-2011, and the forthcoming Volumes 1-6 will cover the period 1964-1981).

In the last 20 years Crumb's artistic output has slowed considerably, making new works more rare and highly prized. This collection of over 600 unseen drawings created between 1982 and 2011 makes this a must-have collectible for every Crumb fan.

Robert Crumb: The Sketchbooks: 1981 - 2012, 6 Vol.


  1. Look, if you can afford it, and if you can get $1,000 worth of joy and satisfaction out of owning this, go for it.

    Of course, there are no words for the depth and richness of the contempt that the almighty Crumb himself would have for anyone who would pay that kind of price for something like this. So you might want to factor that in. Seriously, I’d be worried that he’d get my address from the order, and stand outside my house, sketching furiously and moaning with disgust.

    1. If I remember correctly from the movie “Crumb”, he traded three of his notebooks for an estate in the south of France. So maybe he wouldn’t have that much contempt considering the value he got for them himself.

  2. What would Harvey Pekar say?  Didn’t he meet Robert Crumb over their love of collecting old phonograph records?  The lesson seems to be that the rewarding experience (in no small part) can be found at garage sales, flea markets, estate sales, etc.  

    It is great to know this is out there, but I’m inclined to put this on my “purchase later when someone else sells it off w/o knowing the intrinsic value” list. 

  3. Honestly, Taschen is worth every penny. 

    That said, wait a few months and they’ll likely release a copy on a slightly lesser-quality paper (which means quite good instead of damned good).

  4. About 1/2 of my Taschen books came from the “bargain books” pile near the Barnes & Noble checkout line. Give it a year, and I’m sure they’ll be priced $39.00, lying next to a book about wizards and “Great Italian Recipes by Joe Pesci”. 

    1. After perusing eBay, it appears that Taschen’s The Big Penis Book is holding value and The Art of Tom of Finland has increased in value, so maybe you’re just looking at the wrong titles.

  5. So, 1000$ is for only half the set as well. 

    The good news is that link on Amazon shows it for $810. The price is dropping already.

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