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Thursday, November 12, 2009

POST # 8 - "DIRTY DOG" and "LET'S EAT!" by Robert Crumb

Many of the names you will see here are names that belong in the category of 'people that you've already heard of', and truly, such is the case today. He is certainly not known for doing, say, mainstream commercial superhero or horror comics, but if he ever decides to draw some, I will be the first in line! I am talking about Robert Crumb, king of underground cartoonists'.  I can only say I am a fan, and he falls neatly into my top 'ten comic artist's of all time'.  Over at "THE BLOG AT THE END OF TIME"  we were discussing 'The CUTE Factor', and  Robert Crumb holds a Master's degree in 'Cute Factor'. I love his wonderfully unique and instantly recognizable, personally-crafted style.  There is both a gritty realism and a wacky ludicrousness that I cannot help but be drawn to. Crumb has the amazing ability to draw any scene, no matter how sexually perverse or horrifically violent in reality, and make it somehow ...'CUTE'! Now, before you go off reading, a final disclaimer that should also fall under the category of 'things you should already know'...this completely enjoyable Robert Crumb cartoon contains 'Adult Themes' and viewers should use mature discretion.
There! Now, go enjoy the mini "Crumb" double feature  --  From ZAP Comix # 3, here is

...and now, LET'S EAT!


  1. Thanks for the post. Crumb is great. This guy never panders to the audience. This guy does it strictly on his own terms. Bravo for El Crumbo, who is a true artist. My own top 10 list would include, in no strict order...
    Segar, Herriman, Shulz, Sterrett, Caniff, Ditko, Watterson, Kirby, Crumb, Eisner, Kirby, Gould, Frazetta, and Kurtzman. OK I meant" my top 10 list in no strict amount or order."
    Come visit me at boblillycomics.blogspot.com

  2. Apocolyte: I try to love Crumb, I really do. I mean, the guy could draw the veins in a fly's eyeball (and probably did), but he just flat makes me nervous. I always have that creepy feeling I'm gonna see something I wish I hadn't, or maybe like I'm looking at a pedophile’s private journal. Who else but Crumb could turn a family eating into such a horrific scene? - like we've just caught them in some loathsome, perverted act.

    But man, look at that perfect perspective and detail in the city street scenes! At artist, no doubt. I have heard that if called upon, he could just draw like that in ink, no penciling. - Mykal

  3. My own A-list would include Carl Barks, R. Crumb, Curt Swan, and Chester Gould, among others.

    I got turned on to Crumb with a copy of Mr. Natural #1 that I picked up as a souvenir on a trip to San Francisco in 1971. I think I did see a few panels of his work in the Whole Earth Catalog in a public library the previous year. But, it was Mr. Natural #1 that got me to seeking out his work.

    My own values are closer to Jack T. Chick (another cartoonist whose work I admire) than to Crumb. But, Crumb has always impressed me with his creativity and with the intensity of his plunge into fantasy worlds.

  4. By the way. The title, "Dirty Dog," comes from the Jimmie Rodgers song "Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas)." Crumb was probably listening to a 78 rpm record of it as he did the story.

  5. Gentlemen, I appreciate your comments and thank you all for weighing in on this one.

    Bob, You hit the nail on the head - Crumb draws whatever he wants, and while the content may not always be for everybody, I have to admire the creativity and the honesty in his art, whether it makes you laugh or makes you cringe.

    Mykal, I'm glad I can count on you to find something nice to say even when you aren't a particular artist's biggest fan! We can all learn from your example and try to appreciate the strange or the -- different...beauty is where you find it, and if you look hard enough, you can see beauty in alllll kinds of strange things! I know what you mean, though, the subject matter could make a sailor blush! I just like the way he renders and shades his figures, the pen and/or brush techniques, and the details he adds...most would admit he has a one-of-a-kind style...perhaps if he drew more family friendly content...

    Mark- Howdy! Interesting bit about the song...I'm guessing those lyrics on page one are from the song too...
    My own values are probably very similar to yours -- I'm very familiar with the Chick tracts, books, and comics...the other artist he uses all the time is very talented, I forget his name...

    I don't mean to offend anyone with certain content, be it violent or sexual. I am not making value judgements on any artists or their work, or endorsing in any way the values presented in the comics here. I just want to take a look at and appreciate different styles of art.

    whew! anybody got a can of soda? I'm a little dry after that fillibuster! Ha! See you next time! Thanks!

  6. Yes, the lead-in to the title is pretty much a direct quote:


    I'd rather drink muddy water and sleep in a hollow log
    I'd rather drink muddy water and sleep in a hollow log
    Than to be in Atlanta, treated like a dirty dog

    The only real difference is the substitution of New York for Atlanta.

    I'd say it's safe to assume that the song was the inspiration for the story. Crumb gave his interpretation of the phrase "dirty dog."

  7. One of my favorites that fits right along with "Let's Eat' is 'Mr Natural Does the Dishes". Been hanging on my kitchen wall for 25+ years