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Crumb explains why he canceled trip to Australia
Robert Crumb was the headlining artist at the Australian Graphic arts festival in Sydney, but cancelled after a newspaper ran a headline that read, “Cult genius or filthy weirdo” and quoted anti-child abuse campaigner Hetty Johnsto who raised questions about the appropriateness of Crumb’s attendance.
While I was agonising over whether to go to Australia or not, I tried to imagine how I would react if confronted with a group of angry anti-Crumb protesters, or an angry individual.
I have no defence. I can’t explain why I drew all those crazy pictures. I had to do it. Maybe I should have my pencils and pens taken away from me. I don’t know. I really have no answer to their argument that I’m a sick, deranged person.
What should I say? No, I’m not? No idea. But I decided I was willing to face the possibility of an unpleasant confrontation, possible insults, even physical assault. I’m rather fatalistic that way. But I couldn’t do that to Aline. I had to put her feelings in front of those of the organisers of the festival and Australian fans of my work.