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The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book

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When published in hardcover,, The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book was hailed as an original & audacious celebration of artistic genius & American popular culture. This paperback edition makes the best of this author available in a price that fans of comic book art are sure to appreciate. When published in hardcover,, The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book was hailed as an original & audacious celebration of artistic genius & American popular culture. This paperback edition makes the best of this author available in a price that fans of comic book art are sure to appreciate.


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When published in hardcover,, The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book was hailed as an original & audacious celebration of artistic genius & American popular culture. This paperback edition makes the best of this author available in a price that fans of comic book art are sure to appreciate. When published in hardcover,, The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book was hailed as an original & audacious celebration of artistic genius & American popular culture. This paperback edition makes the best of this author available in a price that fans of comic book art are sure to appreciate.

30 review for The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    For your delectation, there's an unofficial kind of Crumb movie trilogy and they're all well worth seeing. First is Crumb, the movie which reveals that Crumb is just as much of a weirdo as you suspected but here's the thing - his two brothers are even stranger! It'a sad sad movie and I really liked it. Second there's the sublime Ghost World in which Steve Buscemi plays a horrible blues-and-comix-obsessed Crumbalike - this is not Crumb per se, it's somebody else's comic - but it's his world, with th For your delectation, there's an unofficial kind of Crumb movie trilogy and they're all well worth seeing. First is Crumb, the movie which reveals that Crumb is just as much of a weirdo as you suspected but here's the thing - his two brothers are even stranger! It'a sad sad movie and I really liked it. Second there's the sublime Ghost World in which Steve Buscemi plays a horrible blues-and-comix-obsessed Crumbalike - this is not Crumb per se, it's somebody else's comic - but it's his world, with the ineffable Thora Birch thrown in. Third is American Splendor in which James Urbaniak plays Crumb because Crumb was friends with Harvey Pekar who is the subject matter of the movie. All these movies have the P Bryant Unreserved Recommendation, which is a guy you can trust. And considering these three movies AND this giant coffee table book, I'm filled with revulsion and despair at the vista of masculine sexuality and self-loathing here displayed. It's almost like on the one hand we have men who Do Stuff, and they're horrendous because they you know invade countries and murder people or manufacture landmines and brain baby seals, and pat themselves on the back for so doing, and then there's men who Don't Do Stuff except sit around despising themselves for not being able to manufacture landmines or napalm jungles and invade Iraq and all that stuff. There has to be a third view of masculinity but on dark days, and increasingly on even slightly dusky days, I can no longer see it. Although I did hear a Scottish guy on the radio today saying that he does a show where he plays Andrea Dworkin, as an act of solidarity. He did say he catches flak from all sides for that act. Crumb is a supreme poet of masculine self-loathing. I don't wanna look at his stuff any more.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Todd N

    "Discipline the mind... Discipline the mind... I wonder how one goes about doing that???" These are the last words on the inside back cover. R. Crumb is muttering them to himself on the bus after God, obviously fed up with his nonsense, has sworn at him and sent him away. In this big book, genius misanthrope R. Crumb takes the patient reader through the history of his life, work, and influences. Along the way he shares his darkest fantasies, a bunch of sketchbook pages, and his hilariously self-la "Discipline the mind... Discipline the mind... I wonder how one goes about doing that???" These are the last words on the inside back cover. R. Crumb is muttering them to himself on the bus after God, obviously fed up with his nonsense, has sworn at him and sent him away. In this big book, genius misanthrope R. Crumb takes the patient reader through the history of his life, work, and influences. Along the way he shares his darkest fantasies, a bunch of sketchbook pages, and his hilariously self-lacerating inner monologue. (He describes his body type as "wimp-o-morph," which I may have to adopt.) The book is divided into sections, each one with a simple, honest introduction by R. Crumb himself. My favorites were the ones about growing up and looking for old comics, being mentored by the great Harvey Kurtzman (still influencing my son, who loves the rebound Mad #1-15), his relationship to music -- pro and con, and the influence LSD had on his art even though it seemed to come at a cost. He's the one Baby Boomer I would pull out of a fire when the Great Baby Boomer Fire happens, God willing. Highest recommendation, though not for teenagers or anyone still forming their sexual identity. And not all of these comics aged well. Oh, one quick rant before I forget. I don't like those management-y self-improvement-y books (though I have read a few). When someone recently asked for recommendations on social media, I made a few sort of counterintuitive recommendations of my own and got accused of trolling. My thesis: A book like The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book, if read carefully, is way better than one of those dopey Maxwell's Rules of Power books for thinking about one's career. There are sections on mentorship, working when uninspired, managing a new enterprise (Zap!), handling intellectual property, and so on. Don't blame me for what you can't perceive. I should make a list of non-career career books: Crazy from the Heat, that Gil Scott-Heron book, Lives of the Great Composers, Vagabonding in the USA, Sweet Soul Music. Oh well. Whatever. Never mind. And when I'm trolling you will know it, by gum. Discipline the mind... Discipline the mind... I wonder how one goes about doing that???

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Davis

    The part about R. Crumb's background and how he got started in comics was interesting. I respect what the guy was trying to do as an artist, being open about his thoughts and pushing boundaries, etc., but honestly, his images of women were really disturbing. His images of himself were equally disturbing. I don't think he needed to unleash EVERYTHING that crossed his mind into the public domain, and it's an interesting choice that he did. That said, I also thought some of his comics were hilariou The part about R. Crumb's background and how he got started in comics was interesting. I respect what the guy was trying to do as an artist, being open about his thoughts and pushing boundaries, etc., but honestly, his images of women were really disturbing. His images of himself were equally disturbing. I don't think he needed to unleash EVERYTHING that crossed his mind into the public domain, and it's an interesting choice that he did. That said, I also thought some of his comics were hilarious, and then felt kind of guilty that I did.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    Seeing as we picked this up in the bargain section, it was an especially good deal, as it packs a lot into its pages, but it lives up to its title a little much, in that there's not all that continuous a narrative. I like the fact that Crumb's story is told through his recollections (hand-lettered) and comics, but you also hear certain parts of it over and over, which can get a bit old. Maybe that's just the downside of his (or anyone's) obsessions--they're always more interesting to you than to Seeing as we picked this up in the bargain section, it was an especially good deal, as it packs a lot into its pages, but it lives up to its title a little much, in that there's not all that continuous a narrative. I like the fact that Crumb's story is told through his recollections (hand-lettered) and comics, but you also hear certain parts of it over and over, which can get a bit old. Maybe that's just the downside of his (or anyone's) obsessions--they're always more interesting to you than to anyone else. The LSD comics have even less narrative than the rest of them; it's not as though the book, striving to provide an overview of his career as it does, could have left them out, but I wish that page space could have been used for something else. What's interesting to me is how little I identify with Crumb himself, how annoying I find some of his interests and quirks, and how few things I think we would agree on (pop music, for example, might lead to blows), and yet I do still like his work. Maybe it's the crosshatching or maybe it's the fact that visual obsessions work much better than narrative ones. Most likely of all, it's that he's such a flawed and human being, an aspect that comes through in his work in a way it doesn't in, for example, Gerhard Richter's. The size of the book is nice in some ways (large reproduction of art), but it's also awkward to read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cwn_annwn_13

    This is more or less a career encompassing anthology of Crumbs work. You get a taste of every faze he went through. From the early cutesy fuzzy bunny work, the LSD influenced stuff, his sexual fetishs and hangups, the neurotic self loathing introspection, his "counterculture" parody and satire, etc. There is some of every facet of Crumbs work in this along with several interesting handwritten pages where he reflects on his art and comic influences and how he evolved as an artist. He also talks a This is more or less a career encompassing anthology of Crumbs work. You get a taste of every faze he went through. From the early cutesy fuzzy bunny work, the LSD influenced stuff, his sexual fetishs and hangups, the neurotic self loathing introspection, his "counterculture" parody and satire, etc. There is some of every facet of Crumbs work in this along with several interesting handwritten pages where he reflects on his art and comic influences and how he evolved as an artist. He also talks about his love of music and the stages in life that he went through. Overall this would be an ideal introductory book to pick up to check out Crumb.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    This used to be the largest book I owned. Then my brother gave me an elephant sized folio of Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland". It's gigantic. Both books are graphically rich, and both are worth spending some time with. Crumb's work is biting, satirical, psychedelic, revolutionary and incredibly, satisfyingly perverse. McCay's work on the other hand is much more careful. It's drawn beautifully, his pictures seem to draw you in, invoking your own dreams all the while subtly invoking pol This used to be the largest book I owned. Then my brother gave me an elephant sized folio of Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland". It's gigantic. Both books are graphically rich, and both are worth spending some time with. Crumb's work is biting, satirical, psychedelic, revolutionary and incredibly, satisfyingly perverse. McCay's work on the other hand is much more careful. It's drawn beautifully, his pictures seem to draw you in, invoking your own dreams all the while subtly invoking political themes of the day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    e

    when I was little I found this at the library...my mom thought it was a children's book so she let me take it home... she found me on the floor with a confused look on my face, and when she saw what I was reading she swore in three languages and took it away... naturally as soon as I was old enough I checked it out myself. I really appreciate crumb's dedication to his artwork and his uninhibited style. It takes courage to write and draw out the darkest places in your mind, and he does this excepti when I was little I found this at the library...my mom thought it was a children's book so she let me take it home... she found me on the floor with a confused look on my face, and when she saw what I was reading she swore in three languages and took it away... naturally as soon as I was old enough I checked it out myself. I really appreciate crumb's dedication to his artwork and his uninhibited style. It takes courage to write and draw out the darkest places in your mind, and he does this exceptionally well. And for the record, as a woman, I do not find his work offensive...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    it is like seeing a mental disorder represented in art. Good stuff

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tiamat

    A great little biography of Robert Crumb for anyone interested in his history. I loved that Crumb would explain a portion of his life and then the following pages would showcase the comics/art relevant to that period he had just discussed. There's nothing better than seeing the art the artist references in writing. One of my pet peeves is reading articles or watching interviews where artists talk about their work and you're left thinking, "wow, they sound like such a visionary...but what does th A great little biography of Robert Crumb for anyone interested in his history. I loved that Crumb would explain a portion of his life and then the following pages would showcase the comics/art relevant to that period he had just discussed. There's nothing better than seeing the art the artist references in writing. One of my pet peeves is reading articles or watching interviews where artists talk about their work and you're left thinking, "wow, they sound like such a visionary...but what does their stuff actually LOOK like?" Then you're forced to go off and search for the work itself and all the outside sources they referenced, and it becomes very tedious. This book feels like an all-in-one experience where I was able to sit back, flip through, and get a full sense of Crumb's life and his work.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

    I had truly forgotten what an excellent artist Crumb is. His older works brought back memories when an entire generation was lost. Hard to read, but accurate. His personal strips are excruciatingly raw and honest. I most enjoyed where he wrote about his recent projects in sculpture.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ravanagh Allan

    Large format really does the artwork justice!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pat Davis

    Whether for being a martyr of his genius like Bobby Fischer, being a textbook post-LSD user, or being someone with conflicting ideas on sex, religion, and the hipster movement he helped define, R. Crumb displays his decline in this book. While it is packed with sunny memoirs at times, plus good advice for emerging artists, I found that the majority of strips Crumb puts in this book are colored by passive-aggressive meltdowns. Sure, there are classic Crumb characters in there, Mr. Natural, Snoid, Whether for being a martyr of his genius like Bobby Fischer, being a textbook post-LSD user, or being someone with conflicting ideas on sex, religion, and the hipster movement he helped define, R. Crumb displays his decline in this book. While it is packed with sunny memoirs at times, plus good advice for emerging artists, I found that the majority of strips Crumb puts in this book are colored by passive-aggressive meltdowns. Sure, there are classic Crumb characters in there, Mr. Natural, Snoid, the pin-headed "Keep on Truckin'" men. And he goes into detail about how he created them. What I find tedious about the book, though, is that Crumb often uses the very "intellectual speak" of the era he loathes, griping about the dissolution of culture, the vast pressures of being an artist, the boredom of people being charmed by him, as a way to address the reader.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gene Perry

    I was only vaguely familiar with R. Crumb before reading this, but it does a good job of covering his career arc and the variety of his work. R. Crumb was very much part of the culture of the 60s and 70s, but at the same time his neurotic and self-critical bent can't help but puncture illusions of those times. If you're not easily offended, it's interesting to see history from that very distinct point of view. Between R. Crumb, Daniel Clowes, and Chris Ware, comics seem to deliver all our best p I was only vaguely familiar with R. Crumb before reading this, but it does a good job of covering his career arc and the variety of his work. R. Crumb was very much part of the culture of the 60s and 70s, but at the same time his neurotic and self-critical bent can't help but puncture illusions of those times. If you're not easily offended, it's interesting to see history from that very distinct point of view. Between R. Crumb, Daniel Clowes, and Chris Ware, comics seem to deliver all our best portraits of male insecurity and self-loathing. Wonder why that is?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jared

    I'm no R. Crumb expert, but this is a terrific primer. There's a good sampling of his comics, along with even more entertaining anecdotes/notes by Crumb that place his comics and sketches in context. I'm not sure how much more I'll invest in more books by Crumb (I much prefer his autobiographical ones, so if there are particular volumes geared toward that, I may...), but if you only get one of his books, this would be a great choice.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    I got this from the "Sale" bin at Borders. I've been a fan of Robert Crumb since the 70's when I walked into my first "Head" shop and saw the comics there. Everyone wanted to draw like him, but no one has ever quite matched him for his wit, his offbeat sense of humor and his even more outrageous sense of self and world-around-him. This book is a must for anyone that is seriously into his works. It doesn't include all his comics, but enough of them to make it interesting.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    A good introduction to the influential underground comic artist, R. Crumb. His images are iconic (Fritz the Cat, Keep on Truckin'), and his style is funny, self-revealing, incendiary, and often twisted. He's regularly accused of misogyny and racism, and this volume certainly gives plenty of examples of both. I have vague memories of Crumb from my childhood, though I was more of a Mad magazine kid, so this was a bit of a nostalgia tour for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    David

    Some people may not "get" R. Crumb. I have long thought he is a raving genius. The most well know of the '60s "comix" artists, Crumb is an odd, not to say perverse, fellow, but to those of us who love him, an insightful genius. Warning, if you're PC, you might not like this book. On the other hand, if PC sticks in your craw, you might love it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Koeeoaddi

    Ugly, distasteful, sexist and depressing. Just about every hippie I ever knew loved Fritz the Cat and had a stack of Zap Comix on the wax spattered, wire spool coffee table. I liked the film, but man, oh man I hate the art. Hate!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gypsykat

    I love R. Crumb. I just had to have this for my coffee table! :-P Interesting look at his life as well as a cross-section of his art and it's progression through the years. If you are queasy at all about EXTREMELY sexist cartoons though - do not get this book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christian

    i love r. crumb. his art. his thought patterns. his life. his persona. his humor. his insanity. amazing cartoonist and hi-octane nihilist philosopher.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Bourgeois

    I am wickedly in love with this little man.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lori Jackson

    Wow. R. Crumb is filthy. Good stuff. :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ed Manning

    Oh the crazy mind or Mr. Robert.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    If this isn't on your coffee table then you're no friend of mine.

  25. 4 out of 5

    John

    Got this in middle school. It blew my mind what as to what kind of funny and dirty stories comics could tell. I was hooked.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mckinley

    Comic style and sense of humor not to my taste. A bit dark and cynical. D and I went to movie about him so curious about his art work.

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Moretz

    For fans of the great R. Crumb and/or for newbies, this tome is required reading.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aaron the Pink Donut

    the book equivalent of a greatest hits collection. Nothing new here but nice none the less.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kealan O'ver

    Original! Big! Singular! Outrageous! Controversial! Groundbreaking! Pretentious! Expensive! Brilliant!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Swearingen

    Great stuff. Comic artist Robert Crumb's career in retrospective. Art and text.

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