Last week legendary cartoonist R. Crumb disappointed Australian fans who were looking forward to a rare public appearance, when he withdrew, The cause was incendiary comments in a Sunday Telegraph piece called Smutty show a comic outrage which branded him a pervert.
In a letter to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Crumb explains himself a length, and to those who have branded him a woman-hating creep, it’s mostly to make his wife happy — she feared for his safety:
Sorry, folks. I do feel bad, as I hate letting people down. But I decided I’d rather bear the pain of letting people down than subjecting my long-suffering wife to a 10-day period of dread and anxiety for my well-being. She’s been awfully nice to me since I told her I wasn’t going! She baked a chocolate cake even!
I know, I know, it’s galling to give the Sunday Telegraph sleazeballs the satisfaction. ”Ha ha, we scared him off.” But they have already got what they wanted out of me anyway, which was to use me to make the City of Sydney look bad.
The worst part is the apparent irresponsibility of these cynical media hacks. What if I’d gone there, and what if some Mark Chapman-type person who’d read that article decided the world needed to be cleansed of scum like R. Crumb? (Mark Chapman shot John Lennon.) This possibility worried Aline deeply.
These travel concerns by a senior couple come off as a little self-absorbed here, but Crumb has certainly earned the right to stay at home.
BONUS: Here’s what else the Sunday Telegraph was running while decrying Crumb’s smut:
Via Dylan Horrocks
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.