Monday, October 15, 2012

Robert Crumb was born in 1943. His father was in the U.S. Marine Corps and his mother had manic depression. He also had an older brother Charles who loved comics and became one of his biggest influences during his childhood. At first job for the American Gretings Corporation, his grotesque drawing style developed a sense of cuteness leading to his people looking like large footed pin-headed youths. Then in 1965 he started taking L.S.D. which changed the way he thought about and drew comics. During this time period he created many of his future characters including Mr. Natural, Mr. Snold, Fritz the Cat, and Angelfood McSpade. Soon after he began producing underground comics which is what he was mainly known for.
Crumbs work’s strengths are in it’s eye catching seductive imagery and easily recognized style. It intrigues the more grungy and naughty interests of the viewers that make them stop and read his work. His subject matter is also a huge strength of his work because it comments on all aspects and issues of American social life and politics during the late 1900s.  While all tiers of social America are his subjects, it's their personalities and interactions that he is really interested in. Crumb’s work is all about meaning. ALl of his work critiques the human life and societal values during the time when they are controversial. His work entitled “Whiteman” made in 1967 about a typical uptight, white American during the Nixon era who encounters a group of african americans on a way to a parade. During the course of his brief interactions with the group he is critiquing the social politics of whites and blacks as Whiteman breaks down through this confrontation.

 His characters and the social settings they are in are the vehicles he uses to convey meaning. He makes his characters look out of proportion and almost ugly with side of humor. Their feet and hands are big and the women's bodies are exaggerated. However, while he had done a lot of underground comic work, he now works on some more main stream art. Recently, he finished illustrating the whole book of Genesis. Although his drawings are perhaps more mainstream in appearance, there is still an element of crudeness in his humor and imagery.

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