Fascinating Illustrations From R. Crumb’s French Retrospective

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America’s favorite underground artist, Robert Crumb was one of the originators of the “adults only” comic book scene that blossomed during the subversive days of the ’60s and ’70s. Both embraced and disdained for his absurdist, psychedelic view of American society, R. Crumb illustrated wild tales of sex-crazed amazons, hallucinating hippies, abusive cops, and bumbling businessmen. He coined the counterculture slogan “Keep on truckin…,” while making Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural comic book celebs. Breaking the taboos of the times, Crumb became famous for founding Zap Comix, which he first published in 1967, and got a second round of praise for reinvigorating the rebellious medium for a whole new group of punk-inspired artists in the 1980s, with his offbeat comic book Weirdo.

Living in the south of France since 1991, Crumb has recently taken on such revered subjects as Kafka and The Book of Genesis , which he painstakingly turned into a graphic novel. With no signs of slowing down, the underground icon is currently being celebrated with a retrospective, which is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue, at the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris. Click through to view a selection of our favorite images from the show and to watch a video of Crumb discussing his lifetime of work at the museum.

R. Crumb, The Amazon with braids, 2007 – 2011. Collection Paul Morris and Sam Grubman, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Mystic Funnies no. 3, 2002. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Bigfoot Couple, 2000. Published in Fate Magazine (Galde Press), January, 2003. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, My True Inner Self, page a sketchbook, c. 1995. Collection Paul Morris and Samuel Grubman. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Marriage license, 2009. Created for The New Yorker. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York ©Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Robert Johnson, Hell hound On My Trail, s.d., c. 1996. Photo : Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Untitled [Serena Williams], 2002. Published in Art & Beauty Magazine (Fantagraphics Books), no 2, 2003. Photo: courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Outside Magazine Where to Look for Bigfoot, 2002. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Hot Women, 2002. Cover of a disc of 24 songs compiled by Robert Crumb; Kein & Aber Records, 2003. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, The Playful Attitude of the Model, 2002. Published in Art & Beauty Magazine (Fantagraphics Books), no 2, 2003. Private collection, Antwerp. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Yeti Woman, 2000. Cover of Fate Magazine (Clark Publishing Company), November 2000. Collection Paul Morris and Samuel Grubman, New York. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Untitled, 1966. Private collection © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, R. Crumb Presents R. Crumb, 1973. Published in Zap Comix (Apex Novelties), no 7, 1974. Collection Eric Sack, Pennsylvania © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Crazy Horse, 1996. Published in Art & Beauty Magazine (Fantagraphics Books), no 1, 2003. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Drawn Together, 2012. Cover for Aline and Robert Crumb, Drawn Together (W.W. Norton & Company), 2011 © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, The Book of Genesis, 2005-2009. Publication W.W. Norton & Company, New York. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Mr. Natural, 1970. Cover for Mr. Natural (Apex Novelties), no 1, August 1970. Private collection © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Self-portrait with a 3rd Eye, 2001-2005. Collection Paul Morris and Samuel Grubman. Photo: Courtesy Paul Morris and David Zwirner, New York © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, The Complete Fritz the Cat, 1977. Cover for The Complete Fritz the Cat (Belier Press, 1978). Private collection © Robert Crumb

R. Crumb, Cheap Thrills, 1968. Record cover for Big Brother & The Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills – Columbia, 1968. Private collection. © Robert Crumb