The first three volumes of this series were met with fervent acclaim from our readers, most of whom have been lying in wait for an affordable trade edition since the $ 1,000 boxed sets appeared. They laud these 440-page editions for their quality hardcover, elegant matte paper, and impeccable reproduction as the best of the best-the perfect tribute to the world’s favorite dirty old man.
Expect this book to be no different. Combining volumes 7 and 8 from the first boxed set (confusing, we know), it spans the years 1982 to 1989, a period when the artist was comfortably ensconced in rural California, raising his young daughter Sophie, who appears throughout this volume. But Crumb was still Crumb, declaring in one drawing, above a lovingly rendered tree, “As I get older I get more twisted, convoluted, depraved, cynical, embittered, self-centered, jaded, debauched, ruthless, greedy, conceited, set-in-my-ways, long-winded, absent-minded, prejudiced, closed-minded, misanthropic, nervous…”
To prove this self-flagellating analysis he fills the pages with his signature perversions (in country settings), scathing social commentary, cruel self-portraits, experimental cubism… and some lovely sylvan landscape. His mastery of the Rapidograph pen is at its zenith here in his 40s; we only wish he’d chosen to include his prescient comic of Donald Trump from 1989.