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A groundbreaking collection of essays ranging from art history and literary studies, to environmental studies and religious history. Examine Crumb’s work, sophisticated and complex in its representations of gender, sexuality, race, politics, and history, while also charting Crumb’s role in underground comix and the ways in which his work has circulated in art museums. While Crumb’s early work explored over-the-top and sexually explicit stories, he also pioneered the comics memoir, through his own autobiographical and confessional comics, as well as in his collaborations. University of Mississippi Press, 2021.

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A groundbreaking collection of essays ranging from art history and literary studies, to environmental studies and religious history. Examine Crumb’s work, sophisticated and complex in its representations of gender, sexuality, race, politics, and history, while also charting Crumb’s role in underground comix and the ways in which his work has circulated in art museums. While Crumb’s early work explored over-the-top and sexually explicit stories, he also pioneered the comics memoir, through his own autobiographical and confessional comics, as well as in his collaborations.

More recently, Crumb has turned to long-form, book-length works, such as his acclaimed Book of Genesis and Kafka. Over the long arc of his career, Crumb has shaped the conventions of underground and alternative comics, autobiographical comics, and the “graphic novel. ” And, through his involvement in music, animation, and documentary film projects, Crumb is now widely recognized as an artist who has defined the vocation of the cartoonist in a widely influential way.

The Comics of R. Crumb: Underground in the Art Museum makes a significant intervention in comics studies, providing the first collection of critical essays (and indeed, the first volume of sustained critical attention) on a major figure from comics history. The topical range of the essays is impressive, as is the variety in approaches. Crucially, the collection doesn’t shy away from recent debates regarding Crumb’s often offensive drawings and subject matter, and the individual essays all address these issues with intelligence and sensitivity. ” – Frederik Byrn Køhlert, author of Serial Selves: Identity and Representation in Autobiographical Comics

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