The Weirdo Years: 1981–1993

Robert Crumb. Last Gasp (SCB, dist.), $29.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-86719-790-7
Crumb was perhaps the defining artistic voice in the underground comics movement of the 1960s and 1970s, but he remained a potent creative force after that era, and the material found in this collection showcases a more mature side of his work. Founded by Crumb in 1981, Weirdo magazine was conceived as a “low art” answer to the contemporary highbrow Raw, featuring a diverse roster of cartoonists—though Crumb himself served as the main draw. In its pages, he leveled his brutal satire at the American zeitgeist of the burgeoning 1980s, skewering its vacuousness while airing his own middle-aged foibles for public consideration. Weirdo also afforded Crumb the opportunity to apply his skills to an entertaining visual adaptation of excerpts from Kraft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis, old songs such as “Purple Haze” and “On the Street Where You Live,” snippets from James Boswell’s sybaritic London journal, and even a recounting of a religious experience described by author Philip K. Dick. There’s a lot more crammed into this loaded hardcover, all of it delivered in Crumb’s indelible, uncensored candor; and politics aside, Crumb’s sturdy yet vivid art is a star in any decade. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/11/2013
Release date: 11/01/2013
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