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The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb

The Book of Genesis - Robert Crumb If you've written off R. Crumb as a has-been creator of 60's counterculture comic books, this work is your invitation to reconsider. This latest project of his illustrates the complete stories of Genesis in comic book form. When I first heard about this, I wasn't sure what to expect. On one hand, Crumb has done serious, and thoughtful work in the past (e.g. R Crumb's Heros of Jazz). On the other hand, a lot of his earlier comics seem to celebrate deviency, and at times can be openly disdainful of organized religions- Catholicism (Crumb's background) in particular. (see pages 168-170 of Crumb Family Comics) Given his reputation and most of his audience, it would have been easy for Crumb to play Genesis for laughs... dirty jokes, spoofs on church hypocrisies, or a showcase for some of the irrationalities of this ancient mythology. To my mixed relief and disappointment, the book contains none of these. By his own words in the introduction, Crumb approached Gensis as an illustrator concerned only with how best to convey the substance of the text. I'm glad to see him challenging himself in this way. I respect him as an artist, and it is always good to see an artist expanding his horizons and breaking with expectations.