Nelson, Brandon: "‘Sick humor which serves no purpose’. Whiteman, Angelfood and the aesthetics of obscenity in the comix of R. Crumb." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 8.2 (2017), S. 139–155.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Nelson2017
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Keywords: Crumb. Robert, Ethnicity, Gender, Underground Comics, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
The work of Robert Crumb has generated a great deal of controversy based on its grotesque, demeaning depictions of women and ethnic minorities. While accusations of misogyny and racism are certainly justified by the material, perhaps more notable in the work is an inability to identify a coherent ideology that might form a basis for these disturbing images. Instead of adhering to – or rebelling against – the late-1960s’ pacifism and progressivism associated with early American comix production, or the demeaning imagery found in comics earlier in the twentieth century, Crumb appears to reject any and all ideological positions simultaneously. The result bears a strong relation to 1930s’ Surrealism in the fine arts in its emphasis on representation and resistance to interpretation, creating an artistic dumping ground for the author’s fetishes and antisocial preoccupations. The result is an apolitical phantasmagoria that permits, by resisting the social and political norms surrounding its production and initial popularity, unrestrained depictions of a variety of sexual and low-cultural obsessions.
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