W.W. Norton executive editor Robert Weil has acquired the publishing rights to two titles by acclaimed underground cartoonist R. Crumb in addition to acquiring a new work from his wife, noted underground cartoonist Aline Kominsky Crumb. Weil acquired both the R. Crumb Handbook, originally published in 2005; and the 2006 work The Sweeter Side of R. Crumb.
The deal was negotiated by the Judith Hansen Agency, in collaboration with Crumb’s literary representative, The Lora Fountain Literary Agency. Both of the R. Crumb titles were originally published by MQ Publications and the rights have since reverted back to the author.
Weil said that the R. Crumb Handbook (which was written with longtime Crumb collaborator Peter Poplaski) will have “significant revisions, of at least 50 pages, to bring it up to date.” The Handbook and The Sweeter Side will both get new introductions.
Aline Kominsky Crumb’s new work, tentatively titled Aline Crumb’s Graphic Life’s Work, is described as “part graphic novel, part memoir, chronicling a life in graphic arts for nearly forty years.” The book will include stories from Love That Bunch, her 1990 book of autobiographical stories originally published by Fantagraphics; some previously unpublished stories as well as some of the comic strips she has co-created with her husband for the New Yorker magazine. The book will also include original stories. In 2007, Kominsky Crumb published Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir, also by MQP. The rights to that work have since also reverted back to the author.
Weil was enthusiastic about the acquisitions, pointing to “significant foreign rights interest” in the two artists’s books as well to the opportunity to expand the mainstream American distribution of their titles. “We feel we can bring a wide range of women readers to Aline’s work,” said Weil, “especially younger women. Aline is the model for a liberated women.”