Robot 6

Robert Crumb and Gary Groth on almost everything

If you were to list the five most important cartoonists in the history of comics, the chances are good Robert Crumb would be on the list. If you were to list the five most important editor/publishers in the history of comics, the chances are good Gary Groth of Fantagraphics would be on that list. For a lot of people, they’d each be at the top. So if you are a comics reader and you can think of a better way to spend your afternoon than reading a 13,000 word interview with Crumb by Groth for The Comics Journal, then please, become my personal planner, because your life must be freaking awesome.

The thing is damn near solid gold, but a highlight reel might run as follows:

• The opening letter from Crumb, explaining his decision not to attend a Sydney, Australia arts festival following what appears to have been a really naked act of anti-Crumb yellow journalism by the Rupert Murdoch-owned Telegraph

• Groth and Crumb playing an all-pessimism version of “can you top this?” when it comes to their outlook on the political future of the civilized world

• Crumb revealing that he and his son Jesse are no longer on speaking terms, and his feelings on his daughter Sophie’s drug use

• Crumb on how pot and LSD made him a lousier artist in the early ’70s

• Guest questions from cartoonists Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Tony Millionaire, Megan Kelso, Drew Friedman, Gilbert Shelton, Jim Woodring, Lewis Trondheim, Kim Dietch, Bill Griffith, Arnold Roth, and Crumb’s longtime nemesis Trina Robbins

• A relatively lengthy debate over whether President Barack Obama has rolled over to corporate interests (Groth’s position) or legitimately fought against them and simply been bested by their power (Crumb’s take)

• Crumb characterizing his late-’60s turn toward raunchy and offensive content as a deliberate attempt to make himself less popular

• Why Crumb’s sexy women seldom find themselves in “serious” stories as opposed to satirical or scatological ones

• Pens vs. brushes

• Early vs. late Janis Joplin

• Whether spending all that time drawing The Book of Genesis was worth it

• The reason he’s not drawing nearly as much as he used to

Depressing, elating, and hilarious in equal measure, it’s your must-read of the day.

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Comments

4 Comments

That was one of the best interviews I ever read! Thank you so much for steering me to it.

Crumb is a wise man, living on a higher plane of consciousness than most — and he considers himself selfish, when in truth his honesty and openness is so very selfless. What a beautiful spirit.

This interview should be required reading for Human Beings.

I’m glad you enjoyed this, and hope that others will.

That said, based on your list of highlights, I think that I would personally get more value out of any number of activities including washing dishes or sorting my socks. This conversation you describe just doesn’t sound at all appealing to me.

Thanks for adding to it, then?

And we in Australia missed out on seeing/hearing/experiencing this LIVE at GRAPHIC 2011 *shakes head, sobbing*

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