Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I discovered Zap Comics by accident. After years of reading Superhero books I began to get kinda bored, while walking through the comic isles I stumbled across a zap comic and opened it up. Now most kids are blown away by the erotic content and irreverent nature of these comics, but for ME, I really didn't care for that. I zeroed in on how SOLID crumbs pictures looked. They were Dynamic and had weight and structure. The characters were full of PERSONALITY and looked like "regular people" in all their quirkiness. I ditched Marvel and started copying crumbs stuff to discover how he did what he did. His art really influenced my caricature/cartooning style later on.
I also discovered Basil Wolverton around the same time, and added that to the mix.
Getting back to Crumb, he has that rare ability to be able to draw cartoons, caricature and photo realism, all equally good. I didn't appreciate his angel food mc spade toons( as an African American, I was outraged) but was able to overlook that and focus on his artistic genius.
Incidentally, my folks never discovered my Zap collection, because I literally destroyed the books once I finished drawing em.

I had a love hate relationship with Crumb. Objectively speaking I love his work as a cartoonist and a draftsman, but the pornographic, provocative, sexist, and sometimes racist subject matter was offensive. Still, I learned a lot by copying his work, and he is "in me" and always will be, I'm afraid...