Drawn Together

Product Number: 9780871404299


Writer: Aline and R Crumb

Artist: Aline and R Crumb

Publisher: Liverlight

Truth: “We don’t have much trouble running on at the mouth, do we?” No, indeed. Words never fail the husband-wife comics-creating team of R. and Aline Crumb. They’ve got so many that motormouth dialogue, narration, in-frame notes, and bottom-of-the-frame footnotes freight each panel. While he draws himself and surroundings, she draws herself and, when he’s not in the panel, surroundings (and their daughter, Sophie, draws herself, none too flatteringly, in the latest stories in this gathering of their oeuvre—the French is appropriate because the couple’s lived some 20 years in southern France). If his drawing is wonderfully detailed, volumetric, and fluid—the justly most famous and admired comics style of our time—hers is flat, messy, childishly exuberant, an avatar of the art brut manners of such of her peers as Linda Barry, Roz Chast, and Nicole Hollander. That contrast between them becomes yet more grist for their endless, self-conscious, ludicrously frank (often literally unbuttoned; this is adult comics, folks) yattering on sex, art, parenthood, guilt, fashion, collecting, shopping mania, the Jews and the goys, France and the French, him being more famous than her, blah blah blah. And gloriosky! It gets funnier as the years pile up. The last long story here, “A Couple a’ Nasty, Raunchy Old Things,” is as hilarious as the best routines of George and Gracie, the Bickersons, and The Honeymooners. --Ray Olson

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