Summer Reading

The familiar self-portrait on the front cover of 'The R. Crumb Handbook' offers a warning before you crack the spine:'I'm not here to be polite!'

Summer Reading

The R. Crumb Handbook

by R. Crumb and Peter Poplaski

MQ Publications, 436 pp., $25

The familiar self-portrait on the front cover of The R. Crumb Handbook offers a warning before you crack the spine: "I'm not here to be polite!" But the thick, squarish volume itself, a collaboration between Crumb and writer Peter Poplaski, is exceedingly polite in its consideration of the reader, giving anyone who's interested in the subject just what they're looking for: a comprehensive and generously illustrated shitload of information about the world's most famous underground cartoonist. You want examples in color or black-and-white of Crumb's works from the underground Sixties and beyond, lampooning American life, exposing the artist's foibles, fears, and perversions in panel after panel of crosshatched wit? Got 'em. You want an intimate, text-based autobiography and career overview? Check. A wealth of images from the films and TV shows and funny-books that warped Crumb's childhood, family photos from that time and through the media-darling present day? A visual catalog of the Merchandising of Robert Crumb? Well, it's all – wait, you want a CD sampler of music from the Cheap Suit Serenaders and other old-timey bands, American or French, that Crumb's played in? Good: That's included at the volume's front. If you like the man and his work, you'll love this book; if the thought of him makes you feel queasy, it's a hardbound, gorgeously designed emetic.
  • Summer Reading

  • The Coast of Akron

    It's been said that behind every great man there's a woman, but Adrienne Miller kicks it up a notch

    The Missing Person

    This auspicious debut, begun at the Michener Center for Writers, isn't a mystery yarn or a family gothic, a romance, or a satire of radical environmentalism. It's all of the above and then some.

    Dark Matter, Reading the Bones: Speculative Fiction From the African Diaspora

    For those new to speculative fiction in general and African-American writers of the form in particular, the newest 'Dark Matter' anthology, edited by Sheree Thomas, is the perfect guide

    Contrabando: Confessions of a Drug-Smuggling Texas Cowboy

    He spent seven years smuggling marijuana into the United States over the border from Mexico and somehow lived to write about it

    The People of Paper

    Rarely does a novel succeed in strengthening itself through its own dismantling


    Ian McEwan's observation of human experience is unflaggingly acute
  • The Closers

    Michael Connelly's ace homicide detective Harry Bosch is back with LAPD after three years' retirement


    Anyone familiar with the musical output of John Wesley Harding (né Wesley Stace) knows that the artist possesses a sly wit and literary ear that sets him apart from his fellow folk singers

    Bitter Milk

    One big, crippling thought that makes you wonder how long John McManus has been waiting to confide it, this naturalistic first novel from the former Michener fellow and author of the short-story collections 'Born on a Train' and 'Stop Breakin Down' takes place in late-Eighties East Tennessee at the base of a ridge in the Smokies


    In 'Embroideries,' Marjane Satrapi again returns to the Iran of her youth, this time taking readers to a more intimate place, the space inhabited by women

    Also Recommended

    Some other summer reading possibilities ...

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R. Crumb, Peter Poplaski, MQ Publications, The R. Crumb Handbook

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