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Robert Crumb—Live Online: The Interview That Didn’t Happen

Let me start asking you some questions that were passed on to me. You can pretend there’s a 30-foot by 30-foot screen behind you that has these questions being displayed. [Crumb laughs.] That was my strategy. And tell me if you don’t know any of the cartoonists.

Yeah, OK.

So, Tony Millionaire.

I know his work vaguely.

His question:

“I love the comic where Mr. Natural smashes the rake out of Flakey Foont’s hand and gives him a pitchfork, saying, ‘Use the right tool for the job.’ The pause while Flakey stood there waiting for Mr. Natural to make his move was the kind of timing I’d only seen before in Peanuts, like Linus waiting while the quiet steam built up in Lucy. Did you have some hippy farm experience or something like this happen to you? Did you ever live in a hippy farm?”

Yeah. This came directly from an experience that I had the day before I drew that. [Laughter.]

Really?

Yeah. I was out there raking up this dry grass that had been mowed. This was when I first moved to Potter Valley, and we were trying to do this little organic farming thing there, so first thing was we had to cut all this tall, wild grass on a couple acres of land. And so I was out there raking it up with a stupid rake [Groth laughs], and then somebody came over and said “try this” and handed me this pitchfork and it worked so much better. [Laughs.]

I didn’t know that.

Well of course, how would you?

[Laughs.] I haven’t lived on a hippy farm.

It suddenly occurred to me that, yeah, the right tool. There were things handed down through generations about tools and here we were a bunch of hippies with no experience with that at all. So I stupidly went out there with this rake, I didn’t know anything.

From “It’s a Workaday World” in The Book of Mr. Natural (1970)

Yeah, that’s what I would’ve done. [Crumb laughs.] Now, give me a little context. You lived on a collective farm?

Well, when Ballantine Books wanted to do the Fritz the Cat book they gave me $10,000 up front. That was big money for us then. That was in ’69. And then Dana, my first wife, immediately wanted to go out and find a place to buy. And she heard about this place three hours from San Francisco in Potter Valley and went up there and looked at it, it was $18,000 for a five-acre place with a house on it, so she said, “That’s the one. I’m going to buy that.” We bought it, and then she had this idea, she had all these people, hangers-on and all that. She wanted to do this big garden thing and that was like early 1970, late ’69. Might’ve been in 1970 that I got roped into pitching in and helping out with this gardening thing.

It ended up a big disaster, ended up being all we could really manage was a small patch, a garden patch about maybe 30 by 20 feet. We couldn’t farm acres; we just didn’t have the knowledge. Nobody really wanted to work that hard in the hot sun. You know these hippies, they all assumed that somebody else would do that, that somebody else would slave in the hot sun, not them. They had more important things to do. [Laughs.] It’s a lot of work, a lot of work, and you had to do it all by hand, without machinery and stuff. Oy!

Who were these hangers on and where did they live?

Well, we had a big place there. I don’t know where they all came from. Some of them lived in shacks nearby. That was a really crazy time. It was all very unstable. People came and went; it was anarchy. I couldn’t handle it. I was no master at dealing with that stuff. And my comics were supporting the whole thing. When everybody was hanging around and taking up my time during the day I had to work at night. It was the only time that people weren’t hanging around. [Laughs.] I have the memory of this in my mind, sitting in my little cabin in Potter Valley with all these people just sitting around, wanting to be entertained, wanting to smoke dope. Just taking up your time. Trying to get some work done was impossible.

You described that situation to me once, working through the night after these hangers-on went to sleep, and I wondered when you got any sleep.

Well, I would work all night ’til like 5 in the morning, then sleep ’til like 1 in the afternoon. [Laughs.] That’s what I did.

You were unbelievably productive during that period.

Yeah, I’m not sure about the quality of all that stuff I did though. I kind of think the quality was declining in the early ’70s. My life was just too crazy and people wanting my attention all the time because I was Mr. Hippy cartoonist, and people wanting things constantly, I was involved in so much nonsense. [Laughter.] Plus, I was running around chasing girls, and wanting to fuck this one and that one. [Laughs.]

Given all that, it’s still utterly amazing how productive you were.

Yeah, but the work suffered. I think it suffered mostly from pot, smoking too much pot wasn’t good for me. LSD was very inspirational, but pot just kind of de-motivated me. The drawing got sloppy and careless.

You once told me that you lost a lot of technical skill due to the LSD, not the pot.

It was from the drugs in general. My work became simpler and more iconographic. Harvey Kurtzman pointed this out to me. He said, “Look Crumb, your drawing is being hurt by all these drugs you take.” And I couldn’t see it, because I was still taking a lot of drugs. [Laughter.]

Well, of course! [Laughs.]

Only later when I looked back at the work I could see that. Like when I did those sketchbook series with you, in that period from about 1970 to ’73, my work, the drawing, the sketchbooks were so sloppy that I spent weeks and weeks improving and correcting that drawing before I sent the work to you.

R. Crumb Sketchbook Vol. 8: Fall 1970 to Fall 1972

I wouldn’t contest that, but there’s an imaginative quality to your work that was pretty amazing.

Yeah, the imagination was still rolling, but I thought the drawing was better earlier, like ’67, ’68, ’69. And also I was under a lot of pressure, there were all these little comic publishers that wanted me to do stuff for them, because my stuff sold better than the other ones. So they were all after me, five publishers, all saying, “Crumb, give us more work, give us more work,” so I was just trying to crank. I was staying up nights working on comics and doing like two pages in a night.

And you felt obligated?

Well, yeah, they’re all dependent on me for survival, all these little publishers. I tried to keep everybody happy, I wanted to be loved. [Laughter.]

Well, those days are long over.

OK, next question.

All right. Megan Kelso gave me three questions. The first is: “Are there any projects that you’ve wanted to do over the years but have somehow eluded you? And why?”

Yeah.

What would those be?

Well, first one is I wanted to do a long book, like a hundred-page book of excerpts from the diaries of My Secret Life by Walter. You familiar with that?

No.

This Victorian gentleman who kept these secret diaries of his sex life, they’re great: some of the best 19th century English literature, in my opinion. [Laughs.] And they’re very frank, he uses lots of foul language and things like that, but he’s a gentleman. And he was very successful with women and very determined to get laid [Groth laughs] and very good at it.

“Excerpts from Boswell’s London Journal, 1762-1763” Weirdo #3 (Fall 1981)

Sounds like that Boswell piece you did in Weirdo.

Yeah, kind of like that. In the mid-’90s, ’96, I started making drawings in my sketchbook and I was just not happy with them, I’ve got to educate myself better so I could do this, and I just never got to it. And after doing Genesis I now think I actually have the technical skill to do it. I didn’t before. I was never happy with the drawings I did in the sketchbook.

When you say you wanted to educate yourself in order to do it, you mean educate yourself in terms of Victorian iconography, or what?

Well, the Victorian accoutrements is one thing, but just how to draw realistic people, how to draw them correctly. And I realized that this is going to take a lot of focus and concentration and I just never got to it. My life’s been a constant battle to try to do what I want to do. [Laughs.] So that’s one thing. I still might try and do it, I dunno. What’s her next question?

Her second question is: “Do you continue to have ideas or begin projects with the same process you’ve always had, or has your process changed as you’ve gotten older?”

Oh yeah, the process has changed a lot. It’s not nearly as spontaneous as it was when I was young. I used to just work spontaneously off the top of my head. That immediately started to drag as I got famous, and I got more self-conscious, and all that stuff.

Do you miss that ability to spontaneously whip out a piece?

Yeah, in a way. It happened so gradually, I’m not sure if I miss it, but self-consciousness, that’s a killer. Once you become famous and people start praising you, the price of that is self-consciousness. Before that you’re just trying to prove yourself, but once they start heaping praise on you, then you’ve got to live up to your own reputation, and that can really fuck you up bad. You get all fucked up from that.

It seems like it could almost paralyze you creatively.

Yeah, it’s very paralyzing; it causes writer’s block.

Yeah, there’s a big distinction between your Weirdo work and your work before 1980. I’m not sure if that’s exactly the demarcation point, but I noticed how much more carefully drawn and composed the work in Weirdo was.

Yeah, Cat Yronwode, when I first started doing Weirdo, was very critical of my Weirdo stuff and said it was heavy and lacked the freewheeling spontaneity of my earlier stuff and blah blah blah. She was probably right. She didn’t like me much though.

[Laughs.] I imagine not.

Megan’s next question is: “What is it like to watch your child become an artist?”

What’s it like? Like watching Sophie become an artist?

Yup. I think she just wants your gut feeling about what that feels like to watch over the years.

Very interesting of course, very interesting — that’s why we put that book out [Sophie Crumb: Evolution of a Crazy Artist]. The evolution was really incredible to watch, but also made me worry a little bit about her. She was such a talented artist and I knew all the dangers and pitfalls of that type of imagination, that type of person. And sure enough [laughs]…

From Sophie Crumb: Evolution of an Artist ©2011 Sophie Crumb

Yeah?

Sophie developed those kinds of problems of that kind of person.

What problems were those?

Just out there on the fringe, experimenting in some very dangerous areas, drugs and whatnot.

And you were aware of that?

Yeah, and she’s also very headstrong, nothing that Aline or I could do [could] stop her. She’s kind of come back around, I don’t know, now she’s kind of resigned to being this wife and mother, she’s not really doing much art work. And also she got lambasted for being my daughter, so any time she got anything published she just got a lot of cruel reactions on the Internet and stuff.

Of course there’s gonna be that. Well, being your offspring has to be a hard row to hoe. [Laughs.]

Yeah, sometimes both Aline and I regret that we were foolhardy enough to have children. We felt that we were incompetent and that artist dreamers should not have kids. [Laughs.] But, oh well.

Your son Jesse is also an artist, isn’t he?

Yeah, he was a very good artist, but he got the same problem. In my shadow he just couldn’t overcome the self-consciousness, and I think he’s given it up pretty much. I’m not sure, I dunno. I’m not sure. I don’t talk to him.

You don’t talk to Jesse?

Yeah, we’re on the outs.

Jesus, that’s unfortunate.

Yeah, he’s angry at me: very angry at me and impossible to deal with.

That must be pretty miserable.

Yeah, it’s a heartbreak.

How do you deal with that?

How do you deal with it? Well, you try not to let it drag you down and make you like sit and stare. Fortunately for me substances don’t work, alcohol and drugs don’t work for me, so I have to deal with the depression. [Laughs.]

Do you agonize?

Well, yeah, but at a certain point you become numb. You agonize and agonize and after a while you kind of give up. You just live with this heartbreak. It’s just one thing that happens when you get older, you accumulate heartbreak, which I’m sure you know. [Laughs.]

Yeah, and the only thing you can do is live with it. [Laughs.] And try to let it engulf you as little as possible.

For your own survival you do sort of cauterize your emotions. It’s the only way to go on — most people just drink or take drugs. Maybe not most people, but a lot of people. And if you don’t do that, if you remain sober and want to be clearheaded, you have to live with that sorrow.

Yeah, and the thing is you have absolutely no control over it.

Well, you try to control things, not let things lead to disaster if you can help it. [Laughs.]

Let me ask you a question from Gilbert Hernandez: “Have you ever thought of using your lovely bountiful girls to tell a relatively serious story? I can’t think of one of your stories that does that, but let me tell you, it makes making comics a much better, more inspired experience. I draw all the sexy women (to me) that I want to in a story, serious story or not. I think you could be very happy creating a comic with a hottie or hotties dominating the visuals in a serious story.”

A serious story.

I think he’s referring to a story that isn’t leavened by humor, or satirical in nature.

Yeah, or my own crazy sex fantasies. [Laughs.] Well, that’s what I did with Genesis, but it’s not full of hotties, necessarily, but that was a serious work. And if I did that My Secret Life thing, that would be a thing like that.

Exactly, exactly.

Yeah, I thought of it: just haven’t done it. I guess part of it is presuming to know what goes on in the heads and hearts of women. I wouldn’t dare. That’s what the Hernandez Brothers do. It works for them. I don’t know how they do it. I can’t do it.

(continued)

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42 Responses to Robert Crumb—Live Online: The Interview That Didn’t Happen

  1. Chance Fiveash says:

    It’s always a pleasure to read an interview with Crumb as interviewed by Groth. Wonderful.

  2. Tom Stein says:

    Truly inspirational thoughts and comments for R. Crumb! It gives me courage to stay on the rightgeous path, despite all adversity that’s out there!

  3. Pingback: Robert Crumb and Gary Groth on almost everything | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  4. I’m impressed Crumb is so politically informed. Naomi Klein. Wendell Potter. Food, Inc. The guy could do a Pacifica show and guest blog for digby.

    But we’d rather he’d draw another book.

  5. Ron Wilkinson says:

    Great interview. Lots of parallel experiences in my life. Of course I’m close to his age so that’s a good part of it.
    I appreciate that he put it out there and mixed it into his art and story telling.
    It, his comics, definitely gave me something. They are entertaining and give me a sense of relief- that it is not that bad, this life is not that bad.
    Ha ha!!

  6. Linda says:

    Loved it.

  7. Pingback: Robert Crumb and the Australian interview that didn’t happen The Daily Cartoonist

  8. Uland says:

    I’m sorry, this just comes off as whiny and entitled, as though it’s “manipulation” to print a story containing opinions not shared by Crumb and Groth.As though Crumb believes he should be treated differently than any other artist.

    I mean, Crumb used to own being a sleaze-merchant, and clearly did his best to offend middle-America sensibilites. That Conservatives might be alarmed at their Federal government sponsoring ( paying Crumb, I’m sure) a show of his comic art…Well, yeah.

    And for him to back down— as though he’s above the kind of cultural stew he’s exploited for decades— is just wimpy and lame.

    If any federal grant/funding went to any artists that offended the Cultural-Left’s sensibilities, we’d see the same sort of Huff pieces coming from their side of the fence.

  9. tom clifford says:

    Robert Crumb was a great 60’s countercultural artist and all that, but thinking he’s going to get assassinated by some Mark Chapman type nut is plain ol’ daft. Nobody gives that much of a fuck about him, except a coupla hundred TCJ online readers…

    Let’s face it, all that old blues musician art and Bible interpretation is a boring as batshit. Nobody cares about his later stuff.

    Can someone tell him to start talking lots of drugs again?

  10. Kim Thompson says:

    My rebuttal: (1) No, we wouldn’t. (2) If we did, the lefties would be assholes, it wouldn’t clear the righties of their assholishness.

    To see this as anything other than a political hit (in which Crumb was just collateral damage) pandering to the public, using that child-abuse lady as a blunt instrument, is a little naive.

  11. TimR says:

    “Well, in the case of global warming, OK, I don’t trust the scientific consensus myself, because there’s too many other areas where scientific consensus is also a put-up job. Nothing is on the level is the problem.”

    So true, and such a pleasure to see Crumb saying this. So many people seem to take science, well, as a matter of faith, without any skepticism whatsoever.

    I’m more in the global warming skeptic camp, but I appreciate that he’s at least aware of all the weird politics and machinations behind the popular science blatted out through the news organs.

    “And what money interest is there for the people who believe in global warming, the scientists and all them? What possible money interests — OK, maybe some minor thing, perhaps an alternative energy source is a minor possible way to make money.”

    I have read that there is a potential to make money through the carbon credit trading scheme — that it would be another potential financial bubble for G Sachs and the other vernicious knids to stick their feeding maws into. Al Gore was heavily invested in companies having to do with this. Search for a blog under key words “activist teacher” for more details. Also “rkmdocs.blogspot.com” and scroll to the bottom of his (early in the archive) post about global warming:

    Cap-and-trade has nothing to do with climate. It is part of a scheme to micromanage the allocation of global resources, and to maximize profits from the use of those resources. Think about it. Our ‘powerful factions’ decide who gets the initial free cap-and-trade credits. They run the exchange market itself, and can manipulate the market, create derivative products, sell futures, etc. They can cause deflation or inflation of carbon credits, just as they can cause deflation or inflation of currencies. They decide which corporations get advance insider tips, so they can maximize their emissions while minimizing their offset costs. They decide who gets loans to buy offsets, and at what interest rate. They decide what fraction of petroleum will go to the global North and the global South. They have ‘their man’ in the regulation agencies that certify the validity of offset projects, such as replacing rainforests with tree plantations, thus decreasing carbon sequestration. And they make money every which way as they carry out this micromanagement.

  12. George Bush (not that one) says:

    Dose Crumb and put him in a room with Jodorowsky. Fritz the Metabaron !

  13. Uland says:

    How many films,books,etc., come under fire for promoting values the left doesn’t approve of? Ivan think of plenty. Now imagine they received Federal funding.Do you really think Slate would be cool with Gibsons The Passion getting NEA funds, or ,say soething like Friedkins Cruising?

    I don’t see it.

    Also, I think it’s often difficult to draw a line between “hit piece” and genuine concern.You might think the lady is nuts, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t believe what shes saying. Crumb is nuts too, of course. It’s his bread and butter. That anyone would be surprised at people thinking his filth is filthy…

    Any state thinking they should send tax money his way seems insane to me.

  14. Greg says:

    Uland – Why are you even here?

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  16. Uland says:

    “And what money interest is there for the people who believe in global warming, the scientists and all them? What possible money interests — OK, maybe some minor thing, perhaps an alternative energy source is a minor possible way to make money.”

    70 billion in the last 15 years in Federal funding alone went to researchers wanting to study APGW. That’s a pretty good reason to “hide the decline”.

  17. Uland says:

    Two uninformed guys blathering. There’s no incentive to promote Global Warming? — Cap and trade, Carbon offset markets (the largest energy companies not having to worry about competition because they can gobble up “carbon credits”), billions in research money, alternative energy scams ( Solyndra). Come on guys.

  18. Well, you’re the expert.

  19. DiamondDulius says:

    That’s still minor when compared to the oil industry, which is the point, I think… and I don’t believe you can legitimately call a “scam” an incentive…

  20. Tom. Speak for yourself when you say things like that. I find your manner to be totally offensive. Where do you get that stuff anyway? Let’s hear your idea of what’s good.

  21. patrick ford says:

    I notice Fantagraphics is going to reissue Crumb’s “Your Vigor For Life Appalls Me.”

    What are the odds that collection of letters could be brought up to date, at a minimum the letters to TCJ would be wonderful. The Mineshaft letters would be tremendous to collect, but I wouldn’t want to see their back issue sales affected.

    Thanks again for a great interview, and I’m really happy this worked out in print as opposed to having to watch it on video.

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  23. Charro says:

    ” Whiny and entitled”, for not liking what this conglomerate controlled, corporate media churns out? Your point of view has no validity in this respect. We have every right to expect the news to address the whole of an issue and not just sensationalism, soundbytes, or propaganda, ‘right or ‘left’.

  24. patrick ford says:

    So I’m coming out of the drug store with a can of almonds and a newspaper, and there is a guy outside talking about how the moon landing was faked.

    Me? I walk on by.

  25. Anthony Thorne says:

    A great, thoughtful interview full of interesting commentary and funny observations from both Groth and Crumb. Lovely stuff.

    “thinking he’s going to get assassinated by some Mark Chapman type nut is plain ol’ daft. Nobody gives that much of a fuck about him, except a coupla hundred TCJ online readers…”

    You sadly overestimate the mentality of angry tabloid readers down here in Australia, who could easily be provoked to lynch Nelson Mandela if they were persuaded that he’d interfered with their daily diet of sport, beer, and letting working-class Aussies receive a ‘fair go’. Rabble-rousing commentary surrounding the exhibition of the Andres Serrano photo ‘Piss Christ’ led to one reader attempting to carry the picture out of the gallery, and two others attacking it with a hammer. I doubt either had heard of Serrano or his photo before the ‘appalled’ newspaper and TV stories got going. Readers of The Daily Telegraph and Herald-Sun would neither have known nor cared about Crumb’s status as an artistic treasure – they would have viewed him as a perverted Yank who blithely drew pictures of pedophilia for jollies, or worse. Add Government funding of left-wing art exhibitions to the mix – taxpayers having their money spent on ‘sick filth’ – and the controversy could quite easily have run for the entire duration of Crumb’s stay, plenty of time for some red-faced lout to try and make his point to Crumb face-to-face. Australia’s most vituperative shock-jock, Alan Jones, commands a huge Sydney audience and was able to start race riots in the streets a few years back. If he’d started up on the subject – and I guess he would have eventually – Crumb’s visit would have been an ugly one. I’m sad that the event was affected, that Crumb pulled out and the conversation between Groth and R.C wasn’t able to occur before an Australian audience, but if we [Australians] are happy to have our public discussion become increasingly shrill and conservative and right-wing, we can’t complain if others not gripped by the same mindset decline to go along for the ride.

    If Crumb’s still drawing covers for book anthologies, one more I’d like to see comes to mind – THE COMPLETE HUP. That said, if ZAP is getting the deluxe hardcover treatment, can someone [Fanta?] gather the complete WEIRDO issues next, whacked-out photo montages, editorials and all?

  26. Great stuff. Too bad the comments section isn’t trollfree though.

  27. They didn’t say anything disagreeing with Crumb was manipulation, Crumb was saying it was manipulation to send some woman who doesn’t know anything about his work pictures that they know she’ll be offended by out of context and then use quotes by her because they know it will look bad to offend somebody in her position, since she’s supposed to be an advocate for a good cause. And obviously, that is manipulation.

  28. Groth says:

    Thanks to Anthony Thorne for elevating the level of discourse in the Comments section. I was getting worried that my interview was being read mostly by idiots — always a depressing possibility.

    Crumb very explicitly said that he himself wasn’t that worried about physical harm, but that his wife and daughter were, and that he didn’t want to put them through a week of worry. Crumb wanted to go but not enough to put his family through that stress. He put his family’s interests before a public event. What a sick pervert.

  29. TimR says:

    I think I know who you’re directing that at, but for all I know you might be talking about Crumb..?

    Quote: “Well, in the case of global warming, OK, I don’t trust the scientific consensus myself, because there’s too many other areas where scientific consensus is also a put-up job. Nothing is on the level is the problem.”

  30. patrick ford says:

    Tim, Your first thought is correct. It absolutely isn’t Crumb I was talking about.

    Substitute “flat Earth” or “Jesus told me in a dream the world will end in seven days” for “fake moon landing” if you like.

    I agree with Crumb’s sceptical view of modern science (particularly where money is an issue). but I think there are some things which are beyond dispute.

  31. patrick ford says:

    As pointed out by Anthony, Crumb very well could have been in danger. Absolutely a possibility. No one said it was a certainty. It is almost certain that had he gone the trip would have been a very bad experience.

  32. TimR says:

    Mainly being rhetorical, I just wasn’t sure you had noticed that Crumb practically endorses the “conspiratorial” view you were mocking.

    I think there are various economic/ideological pressures on *both* sides of the global warming issue, not exclusively on the big oil side.. This whole carbon credit trading regime sounds like a bit more than chump change to me, not to mention the additional control it would offer to ruling class interests over virtually every human activity.

    Another thing that gets me about the global warming issue, as long as we’re on it.. (and as unpleasant and vitriolic as the conversation always seems – not you Pat, I just mean in general) — My intuition (I won’t pretend to be able to speak to the science, I’m annoyed when laypeople make authoritative claims on it as if they could speak to the science of it) is that we would be better served to focus society’s efforts on the pollutants that cause straightforward health problems in the population – very direct cause and effect ill effects, for instance the problems in my part of the country with coal-fired power plants. Clean that stuff up! But the very tenuous claims that are much more arguable (given the *natural* climate shifts that have occurred over the aeons), about global warming, strike me (again as an admitted non-scientist) as much more easily prone to ideological bias infecting the science on all sides.

    (hope this writing isn’t too unpolished.. just my 2 cents here)

  33. patrick ford says:

    A couple of things Crumb said in the interview reminded me immediately of a quote from Jack Kirby.

    Crumb:

    “We haven’t come that far since Hitler, and the concentration camps, and the gas chambers, Stalin and Mao, all the people they had killed or sent off to Siberia or whatever. You can go on and on.”

    “Well, as compared to in the past when you had brutality and cruelty and everything, and we still have, so what’s specifically detestable about the modern world that’s different from times past is that now they’ve developed such a very clever way of perception management and persuasion and deception, that this has become huge and elaborate.”

    Kirby:

    “We always try to fix our faces. Don’t we look great today? Do we look like the people who built Dachau? No we look as if it never happened. Do we look like the people who committed atrocities in WWII and all the wars before that? No we don’t look like those kinds of people.

    I think we are living in medieval times. It’s only 40 years ago we cooked people in ovens. How sophisticated is that? We can pat ourselves on the back, and say we’re living in a high tech age, but I think we’re still medieval.”

  34. patrick ford says:

    Tim, I really was commenting on avoiding bufoons.

    Let’s just say if I come out of the drug store with a can of cashews and a newspaper, and see a guy dressed in a Batman costume I give him a wide berth.

    As to global warming. Crumb was clear he thought there was a very legitimate concern.

    I think he was more interested in saying people should be sceptical in situations where money plays a role. As he indicated the really big money is interested in disputing the role of man made air pollution.

  35. TimR says:

    You disposed of those almonds pretty quickly. j/k…

    “Crumb was clear he thought there was a very legitimate concern.”

    Not at all! He said he doesn’t trust institutional science one iota, basically, just that if there’s the slightest chance they could be right, it’s too catastrophic to risk it. I suspect that if he read some of the risks of implementing a carbon trading regime, and who the interests are behind doing so, he might weigh the risks

    differently.

    Quote: “I don’t trust the scientific consensus [on global warming] myself, because there’s too many other areas where scientific consensus is also a put-up job.”

    That you call a view of global warming science as “very legit”?

  36. TimR says:

    … let me edit that.. I agree he thinks the “concern” is legit. Not necessarily the science though.

  37. indig says:

    Love Crumb. Love Groth.

  38. Good interview, gentlemen. That was a good idea, getting questions from other cartoonists. It is always a pleasure to hear from Groth or Crumb, and the interaction here was especially stimulating. Thank you!

  39. bjenny says:

    Fantastic interview!

  40. julian says:

    Great interview, informative and insightful..R. Crumb’s work has been a touchstone over the decades for many fans, fellow artists, etc– He’s devoted his time and talent to pursuit of his own unique vision of life, warts and all, and the world is a better place for that. ‘Nuff said.

  41. Andrew MacDonald says:

    Thanks for this wonderful interview. I had tickets to see Crumb and travelled interstate to see him. So this makes up for it somewhat. (Am I bitter? Just a tad.)

    Terry Zwigoff, though, is wrong. There wasn’t a hoople head or ageing hippie in sight, just a lot of nice folk who were interested in comics as an art form.

    He can check with Jim Woodring if he doesn’t believe me.

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