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Perry, Andrew. "Encrumbed by the Signifying Monkey: Con men, cackling clowns and the exigencies of desire in the comics of robert crumb." International Journal of Comic Art 21. (2019): 4–46. 
Added by: joachim (7/11/23, 2:38 PM)   
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Perry2019
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Categories: General
Keywords: Crumb. Robert, Gender, Sexuality, Underground Comics, USA
Creators: Perry
Collection: International Journal of Comic Art
Views: 43/382
Attachments   URLs   https://www.academ ... cs_of_Robert_Crumb
Abstract
I contend that responses to Crumb’s disturbing images often occupy the extremes of admiration and revulsion. My paper occupies the ambiguous threshold between these two positions, arguing that Crumb’s work is an embodied expression of the signifying trickster’s dual consciousness, simultaneously representing both the lofty role of the culture-hero and the sordid role of dirt-worker. I divide trickster consciousness into three interrelated modes of “shameless” expression: the con artist, the clown, and the sexual exhibitionist. I position myself within the recently heated debate over the offensive nature of Crumb’s images, particularly the social justice reevaluation of his work as a result of the #MeToo movement. I frame the paper by responding to and forwarding arguments made in the recent article “Cancel Culture Comes for Counterculture Comics” by Brian Doherty, a senior editor at Reason. I hold that as a trickster figure, Crumb’s troubling cartoon representations of misogyny and “deviant” sexuality can be viewed as a desire to deliberately dispute, disrupt, and deconstruct the socially-constructed conventions and power dynamics of gender and sexuality, at the same time shifting the established boundaries of comics.
  
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