Friday night’s opening fro the R. Crumb exhibit at the Society of Illustrators in NYC, was — no surprise — jammed to the rafters with the who’s who of the local scene. The man himself was on the premises but the notoriously shy cartoonist sat with Aline at a back table where only a few came to pay homage.
The next night, Crumb played at a blues concert which was incredibly sold out — we shared our disappointment at not seeing Crumb play Old Time Music with David Mazzucchelli, Richmond Lewis, and R. Sikoryak — but Molly Crabapple was lucky enough to get a ticket and then tweeted about what happened:
Tonight’s R. Crumb meeting. Me: “Gush gush gush you so cool fangirl gush”. Crumb: “You’re a beautiful woman”, flees to dressing room. His bluegrass band is awesome! As were his opening performers. One dude’s hands were leaping over the banjo like lightening. Best night. I had many plans about the cool eloquent things I was going to say to him. Needless to say, this did not happen.
It is touching to know that at age 67, the master is still awed by beauty.
The show itself is also a thing of great beauty, with tons of the most iconic underground art of all times on display. Mark Voger at the Star-Ledger has a rundown and interview with curator Monte Beauchamp:
Surprise! “R. Crumb: Lines Drawn on Paper” presents 90 original works by the 67-year-old underground comics legend, including covers and pages from “Zap Comix,” “Head Comix,” “Bijou Funnies,” “Motor City Comics,” “Hup” and, if you’ll pardon the vulgarity, “Big Ass Comics.” (We are talking about R. Crumb here.)
If you’re tooling around the country, Crumb’s GENESIS art is currently on display at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME.
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.