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Robert Crumb. Sketchbook Vol. 6. 1998–2011

Hardcover8.1 x 10.6 in.3.12 lb444 pages50
The last volume of this six-book series has our hero settled in his French home, still illustrating sex fantasies and ranting against the human condition, but increasingly working from photos and historical themes. Images of torture at Abu Ghraib and family portraits are mashed together. Old age hasn’t brought contentment.
Robert Crumb. Sketchbook Vol. 6. 1998–2011

Robert Crumb. Sketchbook Vol. 6. 1998–2011

50

Crumb Comes to a Close

The 6th and final volume ends on a high note

“Silly Fool Comics” fills the final page in this final volume, with a devilish creature telling the anguished Crumb, “YOU Will Soon Be DEAD!” He was a mere 67, but in his self-absorbed Crumbish way was obsessing about death, when not making intimate and loving portraits of his wife Aline and all the other women who’d tormented his libido since boyhood. Most impressive in this book are his historic tableau, some single page, others multi-page strips, including Piers the Ploughman of 14th century England, My Secret Life by “Walter,” Rough Women of the Dark Ages and The Apache Dance, from a 1930s Parisian postcard. His Rapidographed cross hatching is superb as ever and we are treated to long screeds displaying his undimmed brilliance at analyzing the human condition, in a morbid but nonetheless amusing way.

One could say there are no surprises in content, as Crumb has produced a consistent body of work over the last 40, if not 50, years, yet each page is also jarringly different from the one before, due to his personal juxtaposition of images. So much is packed in you can spend an hour and find you’re only a quarter of the way through, with Crumb bemoaning his mortality, while continuing to prosper, every few pages. A fine stand-alone volume, and must-have completion for the sketchbook set.
The artist

Robert Crumb first found fame with Zap comics in 1968. Subsequent comics include Snatch, Big Ass, Despair, Weirdo and Hup. He starred in the Oscar nominated 1994 film Crumb, and has produced many books, including TASCHEN’s Sex Obsessions.

The editor

Dian Hanson produced a variety of men’s magazines from 1976 to 2001, including Juggs, Outlaw Biker, and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN’s Sexy Book Editor. Her titles include the “body part” series, The Art of Pin-up, Masterpieces of Fantasy Art, and Ren Hang.

Robert Crumb. Sketchbook Vol. 6. 1998–2011
Hardcover20.5 x 27 cm1.42 kg444 pages