With his singular artistic vision, Crumb, godfather of the “underground comix” movement during the late-60s and 70s, has inspired literally thousands of comic artists. Having such characters as Mr. Natural, Devil Girl, Felix the Cat, and Joe Blow, his comic stories didn’t simply push the boundaries of good taste, they ignored them. Many of his stories are filled with pornographic perversities, earthy obsessions, racial stereotypes, social satire, or just plain indecent fun where censorship is the only offense. With such a long history of unscrupulous sequential art, Crumb’s turn to Genesis may seem odd. But in the introduction, Crumb shares what attracted his drawing pen to the first book of Moses,
“…I, ironically, do not believe the Bible is “the word of God.” I believe it is the words of men. It is, nonetheless, a powerful text with layers of meaning that reach deep into our collective consciousness, our historical consciousness, if you will. It seems indeed to be an inspired work, but I believe that its power derives from its having been a collective endeavor that evolved and condensed over many generations…”
One of Crumb’s primary sources on Genesis, Robert Alter, provides additional reasons for the irreligious to take the book seriously,
“Nowhere else in ancient literature have the quirkiness and unpredictability of individual character[s?] and the frictions and tensions of family life--sibling rivalry, the jealousy of co-wives, the extravagance of parental favoritism--been registered with such subtlety and insight.”
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