Here’s Robert Crumb in early 1973 standing in front of his mural on the Mission Rebels building, South Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Photo was taken by Marilyn Jones McGrew.
I’d be surprised if any pig fan doesn’t know who Robert Crumb is, but just in case, Robert is usually credited as the originator of the San Francisco underground comix scene, and by extension, the inspiration behind every underground comic created from 1967 until today. The first issue of Zap Comics, written and drawn that year by Crumb, kicked off the long parade.
More from Marilyn Jones McGrew: “Although Jack Jackson’s comic ‘God Nose’ probably predates ‘Zap’, as ‘Jaxon’ was publishing his own underground comic from the Wonder Warthog stories in San Francisco as early as 1965. But they weren’t for sale anywhere. They were passed from hand to hand.in the basement print shop (literally underground) as early as 1964, Robert is generally credited with creating the San Francisco comix scene. ” And, the Pig adds, I was reading Gilbert Shelton’s
Marilyn continues, “Robert began his book publishing career with a wonderfully romantic full-color illustrated novel entitled the ‘ Book’. This documented his obsession and desire for the fully developed female physique; which netted him his first wife, the amazing and completely original Dana Crumb (who is still alive and well in Potter Valley).
Before much time had passed Robert’s libido was freed to such an extent that he immersed himself further into his sexual fantasies, which had been tremendously influenced (and corrupted) by his early years of oppressive Catholic upbringing. Much of his later comix work clearly could be considered anti-female in the extreme. Yet there is no doubt that he is a gifted artist and immensely productive to this day.”
Thanks Marilyn, for your excellent portrait of the obsessive Mr. Crumb. We’re looking forward to more from your archives of Haight-Ashbury luminaries.
I called Precita Eyes Mural Center in San Francisco to find out how the Crumb mural is holding up after thirty plus years. It may be holding up very well, but we won’t know unless Crumb reaches Da Vinci status, and the mural archaeologists start removing paint. That’s the trouble with murals. Time passes. Buildings get sold and new owners don’t care about R. Crumb murals. And, apparently R. Crumb doesn’t care much either. His one and only mural is not mentioned on the Official R. Crumb Website.