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Robert Crumb and the Australian interview that didn’t happen
If you’ll remember Robert Crumb was supposed to be the headlining appearance at the Graphic arts festival in Sydney Australia in August, but cancelled his trip after The Sunday Telegraph described him as a “self-confessed sex pervert” and a “very warped human being.” Part of his appearance was a sit down interview on stage with Gary Groth. Gary decided to still do that interview and the result is posted in The Comics Journal.
Since I couldn’t ask him these questions on a stage in Sydney, I asked Robert if he’d answer these questions in a post-Sydney interview, to which he graciously consented. I recently witnessed an exchange on an academic forum discussing Crumb’s alleged racism or misogyny (I can’t recall which) where someone, referring to crumb’s own responses to the allegations, said that Crumb wasn’t a very thoughtful cartoonist. I couldn’t disagree more. Not only is he thoughtful about his own craft and art, but has a wide-ranging curiosity, verging on the inquisitorial, about the wider world and the Important Questions. Not that he always has the answers, mind you; but few cartoonists of my acquaintance think more and more deeply about the questions than Crumb does. This interview skims the surface.