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No More Openings

Today we have Gary Groth's 1991 interview with Robert Crumb, part of our ongoing spotlight on Zap.

GROTH: Don’t you think that representations of sex in the media can affect people, just like 40 years of being indoctrinated bPlayboy can affect people?

CRUMB: I think anything that is propaganda or panders to people is definitely not good for them. They’re just pandering to people’s weaknesses, and trying to undercut the next guy in the competitive marketplace. But that’s anything; you can say the same thing about breakfast cereals with a lot of sugar in them.

GROTH: Yes, but misogynistic work could be pandering to the misogynistic impulses of misogynists.

CRUMB: But pandering cannot be truthful. There’s a dif­ference. You’re trying to appeal to a market in order to sell something.

GROTH: So in assessing a work you’re really relying heavily upon the motives of the artist.

CRUMB: Absolutely.

GROTH: But most of the time you really don’t know what those motives are.

CRUMB: But honesty rings true. Of course it takes somewhat of an educated taste, or a certain cultivation, to see what’s true and what isn’t — which means you have to look at a lot of work and make comparisons over a period of time. As a kid you don’t perceive those things quite so much. Kids can’t be expected to see what’s truth and what’s pandering. Kids are much more susceptible to victimization by marketing schemes and aggressive sales.

And Greg Hunter on Fukitor:

Fukitor is a collection of rebellious gestures performed on repeat. The book, a bellwether title for Fantagraphics’ F.U. Press imprint, brings together entries from cartoonist Jason Karns’s series of the same name. The individual stories are genre pastiches of about five-to-ten pages in length. They typically feature murderous ghouls or hyperviolent men of action or both. They are designed to accommodate as many instances of bloodshed and rape as possible. Much of the advance buzz surrounding Fukitor took the form of a debate concerning Karns’s depictions of sexual violence and his use of ethnic caricature. Some aspects of this conversation are larger than Fukitor, and if the book represents failures of empathy within the comics community, people besides Karns share responsibility for those lapses. But Karns alone is responsible for his book’s failures of imagination.

And elsewhere:

A piece on a new Richard Thompson documentary, and the trailer here:

And here's a Jillian Tamaki interview:

Good news: Sean Howe has a new book on the go, and it's comics-adjacent. Check out the news here.

Here's a Nate Powell interview in comics form.

And here's an interview with manga artist Hiroaki Samura.


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