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The Complete Crumb Comics, Vol. 12: We're Livin' in the "Lap o' Luxury!"

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Back in print after a several-year absence, the twelfth volume of The Complete Crumb Comics spotlights Crumb’s first collaborations with writer Harvey Pekar, which appeared in Pekar’s magazine American Splendor. This collection also includes a skeptical report-in-comics on an aerospace symposium (commissioned by CoEvolution Quarterly, it comes off like a forerunner of Mich Back in print after a several-year absence, the twelfth volume of The Complete Crumb Comics spotlights Crumb’s first collaborations with writer Harvey Pekar, which appeared in Pekar’s magazine American Splendor. This collection also includes a skeptical report-in-comics on an aerospace symposium (commissioned by CoEvolution Quarterly, it comes off like a forerunner of Michael Moore’s cocky documentary films), Crumb’s encounter with a pot-smoking interviewer from High Times magazine, an evocative period piece featuring 1930s jazz musicians, another of Crumb’s collaborative “jams” with wife Aline Kominsky, and other pieces.


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Back in print after a several-year absence, the twelfth volume of The Complete Crumb Comics spotlights Crumb’s first collaborations with writer Harvey Pekar, which appeared in Pekar’s magazine American Splendor. This collection also includes a skeptical report-in-comics on an aerospace symposium (commissioned by CoEvolution Quarterly, it comes off like a forerunner of Mich Back in print after a several-year absence, the twelfth volume of The Complete Crumb Comics spotlights Crumb’s first collaborations with writer Harvey Pekar, which appeared in Pekar’s magazine American Splendor. This collection also includes a skeptical report-in-comics on an aerospace symposium (commissioned by CoEvolution Quarterly, it comes off like a forerunner of Michael Moore’s cocky documentary films), Crumb’s encounter with a pot-smoking interviewer from High Times magazine, an evocative period piece featuring 1930s jazz musicians, another of Crumb’s collaborative “jams” with wife Aline Kominsky, and other pieces.

30 review for The Complete Crumb Comics, Vol. 12: We're Livin' in the "Lap o' Luxury!"

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    This is probably one of my favorite volumes in this series, because I'm a huge American Splendor fan, and it was during the time period covered in this book--1976-1979--that AS first began publication. So we get all sorts of definitive Pekar/Crumb collaborations like “A Fantasy”, “The Harvey Pekar Name Story”, “Hustlin’ Sides”, “Standing Behind Old Jewish Ladies in Supermarket Lines”, “Jack the Bellboy and Mr. Boats”, “Rollins on Time”, “The Young Crumb Story”, “How I Quit Collecting Records”, “ This is probably one of my favorite volumes in this series, because I'm a huge American Splendor fan, and it was during the time period covered in this book--1976-1979--that AS first began publication. So we get all sorts of definitive Pekar/Crumb collaborations like “A Fantasy”, “The Harvey Pekar Name Story”, “Hustlin’ Sides”, “Standing Behind Old Jewish Ladies in Supermarket Lines”, “Jack the Bellboy and Mr. Boats”, “Rollins on Time”, “The Young Crumb Story”, “How I Quit Collecting Records”, “Lunch with Carmella”, and more. A biographical aside: I grew up, not in Cleveland, but in a smaller town nearby, and frequently visited the city to see relatives and shop and so on. The summer of my high school graduation, we moved to southeast Michigan, and our last night in Ohio was spent at my grandmother's apartment in Cleveland. She lived a couple of blocks from the Shaker Square bookshop, so naturally I had to visit one more time. I had recently bought and enjoyed the very first American Splendor trade paperback, so I was excited to see that the bookshop had most of the original AS magazine-sized issues for sale (this was before Dark Horse started publishing it.) I bought all they had, and those comics helped stave off the homesick period of adjusting to a new state and all. I basically got all available issues of the title except #1 and #4 (to this day, I’m still missing both.) This volume of The Complete Crumb Comics taunts me by reproducing the cover of American Splendor #4 in the color section … In addition to the AS material, this volume also includes “High Times Interviews R. Crumb” which has long been one of my favorites of his autobiographical pieces. And “Grim Grids” is a lovely throwback to his psychedelic 60's work. All in all, an exceptional volume of an exceptional series. Highly recommended!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mark Plaid

    The Complete Crumb: We're Livin' in the Lap of Luxury, Vol. 12 collects many of the cartoons of R. Crumb from the late 70s. Like the eleven volumes before it, this beautifully laid out collection lends an insight to Crumb's work unique to this series in that the reader really gets a glimpse at the cartoonist personality of Crumb. Perhaps it is his persona but there seems to be some themes that run through many of the cartoons throughout the book which blends into Crumb's cartoon persona. As alwa The Complete Crumb: We're Livin' in the Lap of Luxury, Vol. 12 collects many of the cartoons of R. Crumb from the late 70s. Like the eleven volumes before it, this beautifully laid out collection lends an insight to Crumb's work unique to this series in that the reader really gets a glimpse at the cartoonist personality of Crumb. Perhaps it is his persona but there seems to be some themes that run through many of the cartoons throughout the book which blends into Crumb's cartoon persona. As always Crumb has several autobiographical cartoons whose confessional motif is quite extreme. The themes from these autobiographical comics also appear in comics depicting characters other than himself. The line between Crumb and characters like Mr. Inappropriate and Mr. Natural is quite fuzzy. It's ironic that Crumb became the king of the underground comics of the hippy era. In many ways he's the antithesis of the typically leftist hippies. Sure in some comics he's a strong proponent of environmentalism, marxism, and free love, especially free love, but on the other hand he's quite racist, sexist, and conservative. His distaste for anyone not middle of the road, white, straight, and male (ie. anyone not R. Crumb) shows quite clearly. Even when he supports some classic left wing causes like environmentalism or Marxism it just seems like so much slogan spouting and overcompensated effort to be down with his readers. However, despite his shortcomings and lack of likability, Crumb's comics are compelling. Perhaps reading them is like slowing down to view a car accident on the highway. I'm not sure really but I keep reading his comics and will continue to read his comics, which seems to be the attitude of most of his readers whom I suspect Crumb wouldn't like very well. The best comics in this books are those written by underground comix's best writer, Harvey Pekar. Pekar likes to come off as a curmudgeon like R. Crumb, but he doesn't hate people like Crumb does. Pekar never seems like a chauvinist or a bigot and his political concerns seem genuine. Pekar's crankiness seems more due to his neuroticism, which is spurred by his concerns for making a living and supporting his family. Like most of us he often says the wrong thing or things he wishes he could take back but he means well. When Crumb doesn't write the words, his talent for expressiveness shines through. Many artists have depicted Pekar and Crumb's one of the best at doing so. His art may not precisely reproduce Pekar's real likeness but it captures the character that Pekar is in his comics. Crumb also does what any good comic artist does and brings out characteristics only someone who is not Pekar would see. When the two team up, it's always with good results. Regardless of the controversial aspects of Crumb his cartooning is beautiful and this volume holds some of his best work. This is another thing that I like about the Complete Crumb series is to see how Crumb's art has progressed over the years, despite his writing or wisdom. This volume has the same character that all of the Complete Crumb's do and captures Crumb's work very well.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    Interestingly, R. Crumb seemed to be preoccupied with the state of the world, including pollution and chemicals in food, during this era. That surprised me; he strikes me as the sort of person who would make fun of such concerns.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Derrick

    This volume contains some fantastic work from American Splendor. Also, despite the sometimes dated humor and references, the stories and cartoons in this book remind us that political, social, and philosophical issues haven't changed all that much in the last 40 years.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Justin Grimbol

  6. 5 out of 5

    Max Coates

  7. 4 out of 5

    Craven Lovelace

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amiri Barksdale

  9. 4 out of 5

    Niklas

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wilmer Wolf

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wallace

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janne Mäkelä

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ben Levien

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steven Jones

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ian Cockburn

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tom Landis

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stinkfoot

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alex Firer

  19. 5 out of 5

    Charlie 3000

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marc Ternes

  21. 4 out of 5

    Haakon

  22. 5 out of 5

    K. Nugent

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jimi

  25. 5 out of 5

    Fantagraphics Books

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mountmoldy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

  28. 4 out of 5

    Allen Rubinstein

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  30. 4 out of 5

    Granit Hysiqi

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