Wednesday, January 23, 2013

58. {R. Crumb's Sex Obsessions} 1

Well folks, here you have R. CRUMB'S SEX OBSESSIONS, another ridicuously expensive book from Taschen (€ 750). A book you probably don't need, because it is almost all repeat material, and it doesn't come cheap. Oh, it's a nice book. VERY nice. But we ask ourselves (and Taschen) is it worth the price??

258 pages, limited edition of 1000 signed & numbered copies, in slipcase, with a print. The only reason that we here at the Crumbpendium can tell you anything about this book at all is because we got a brand new copy at half price. 
The book comes with a numbered (not signed), stamped (with a seal) print:

"I Was Raised to be a Christian"
The print that comes with the book 
(frame not included)

You would think that you could not live without a book called R. Crumb's Sex Obsessions, but somehow, you can. We're not saying the book isn't good, it is. It's just not great. Which is disappointing. It should be GREAT. Especially for the money it costs!

Why isn't it great? 
In a nutshell: because there is no old material at all (the oldest is from 1980), and because some of the strips chosen contain long passages without any sex. Many sexy Crumb things that one would expect to find here are absent. Much of his greatest sex stuff is from the old days -- it's just a fact. So to publish a compilation like this and ignore some of Crumb's greatest just seems weird. WE would have done it differently.

At first we thought editor Dian Hanson was to blame, especially in light of the fact that 4 pix of her are included, almost conspicuously. But according to the Taschen website, Crumb chose the contents himself. Perhaps his current taste in women (the new-school Crumb girl) has caused him to forget the former glory of his older strips. Nothing here from Big Ass, or Zap, or Snatch, or any of the old classics. It's almost all new-school Crumb girls. Even the Vulture Demonesses are new-school.

So what's in this book anyway? 
In theory, sex-related Crumb strips & drawings that we have already seen, this time around many of them (but not all) in color. There are a few pictures we don't seem to have anywhere else; they probably come from Crumb's sketchbooks and in all likelihood are included in the Taschen Sketchbooks.

Okay, but what's in this book exactly? 
You will find the answer to that in the NEXT POST, when we publish a list of the entire contents, including the stuff not listed in the Table of Contents.


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