Robert Crumb

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Robert Dennis Crumb (born August 30, 1943)—known as Robert Crumb and R. Crumb—is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.

Crumb was a founder of the underground comix movement and is regarded as its most prominent figure. Though one of the most celebrated of comic book artists, Crumb's entire career has unfolded outside the mainstream comic book publishing industry. One of his most recognized works is the "Keep on Truckin'" comic, which became a widely distributed fixture of pop culture in the 1970s. Others are the characters Devil Girl, Fritz the Cat, and Mr. Natural.

He was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1991.


Life and career

Robert Crumb was born on August 30, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is of English and Scottish ancestry, and is related to former U.S. president Andrew Jackson on his mother's side.[1] His father, Charles, was a career officer in the United States Marine Corps; his mother, Beatrice, a housewife who reportedly abused diet pills and amphetamines. Their marriage was unhappy and the children—Robert, Charles, Maxon, Sandra and Carol—were frequent witnesses to their parents' loud arguments. Crumb's first job as an artist was for the Topps company. He was hired by Woody Gelman and drew illustrations for an internal publication that offered premiums to gum salesman such as toasters and blenders.[2] In the mid 1960s, Crumb left home and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he designed greeting cards for the American Greetings corporation, and met a group of young bohemians including Buzzy Linhart, Liz Johnston, and others. Johnston introduced him to his future wife, Dana Morgan. He befriended another Cleveland resident, Harvey Pekar, and eventually contributed artwork to early issues of American Splendor. In 1967, encouraged by the reaction to some drawings he had published in underground newspapers, including Philadelphia's Yarrowstalks, Crumb moved to San Francisco, California, the center of the counterculture movement. Crumb, with the backing of Don Donahue, published the first issue of his Zap Comix on January 18, 1968, printed by Beat poet Charles Plymell.[3] After years in California, and a second marriage to Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Crumb and family moved to a small village near Sauve in southern France, where he now resides. The artist is represented by David Zwirner, New York.[4]

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