With his long awaited GENESIS adaptation finally hitting shelves, somewhat reclusive cartoonist R. Crumb is having a, for him, orgy of publicity. First and perhaps most excitingly, a show of his art is up this month at the Hammer Museum in LA:

The UCLA talk is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis” on view Oct. 24–Feb. 7 at the Hammer Museum. On display will be 207 pages of the original artwork from the Book of Genesis, including the front and back cover. Crumb will also speak at Hammer’s Lunchtime Art Talks series on Nov. 4.

An Evening with R. Crumb, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. at Royce Hall. Tickets are priced at $60, $44, $36, and $18 tickets available for UCLA students.

But there’s also the press tour you never thought you would see! R. Crumb interviewed in USA TODAY!

“I ended up with the old stereotypical Charlton Heston kind of God, long beard, very masculine. I used a lot of white-out, a lot of corrections when I tried to draw God.”

With a mixture of anticipation and anxiety, the art world has been awaiting Crumb’s long-rumored illuminated manuscript, a four-year, monastic-like effort to adapt every word of the first book of the Bible in distinctive pen and ink.

Bonus: USA Today’s Faith & Reason blog analyzes his view of the Scripture.

AND, the Washington Post’s religion column presents another in-depth analysis:

And more Crumb, drawing four to nine panels on most pages, and inking in the words in capital letters, comic book-style. But a primitive comic style that derives from Disney and fuzzy-animal comics, with little of the extreme cinematic angles, close-ups and diagonally split panels that artists such as Will Eisner brought to comics art in the 1940s — techniques that live on in graphic novels and newspaper strips such as “Judge Parker.” Crumb stays with a head-on, eye-level style as if he were drawing for small children. Part of his energy has always come from the ongoing joke of putting a fuzzy-animal style together with heinous perversities and despairs, a mating dance done to the music of his creepy obsessions with women built like linebackers, with his Rapidograph pen and with his style, which never changes, regardless of topic. It’s as if Picasso had spent his entire career in his blue period, doing art as ritual.

AND, a fine review of GENESIS from Print Magazine by Bill Kartalopoulos.

More to come, surely.


  1. That’s very interesting “It’s as if Picasso had spent his entire career in his blue period, doing art as ritual.”. Many aspects of cartooning could seem a little OCD to an outsider, in fact, the submission and resubmission of cartoons (repeating the same action in anticipation of a different result) can even seem a little crazy. This is the first time I’ve seen a having a style of drawing referred to as “ritual”.

    Of course cartoonists change over the years and become faster and slicker and whatever the writer here thinks, Crumb’s style of drawing has changed and developed, but it’s still an interesting angle. It is a little like suggesting that Lucian Freud hasn’t broken away from his almost ritualistic fetishisation of the painted human form, but it is, as I say, an interesting observation.