DescriptionRobert Crumb - Arcade #14 Sketchbook Original Art (1961). The story of Zap Comix artist Robert Crumb's early comics career has been told many times before, but bears repeating here. On the incessant urgings of big brother Charles, the Crumb children, including Robert, his younger brother Maxon, and two sisters, would create their own comic books. These homemade efforts were inspired by children's comics from the 1940s and '50s, as well as movies that impressed the kids, including Walt Disney's "Treasure Island" in 1950. By the early 1960s, only Robert had kept up his comics work, producing "regular" issues of his own title, Arcade. Of course, each issue was a one-of-a-kind work of original art, drawn in pencil in a notebook, usually with a hand-colored pen-and-ink drawing pasted on the front. This incredible item is Robert's comic for the summer of 1961. It's primarily a sketchbook -- but what a sketchbook! It opens with a sketch of a young woman and an intro from Robert, which is quite fascinating. On the opposite side, on the inside front cover, is the single sketch in this book by Charles, who had by this time begun his slow retreat from the world, done in by his own enormous talent and sensitivity. The following 32 pages contain some of the most interesting early pencil sketches by Robert that this describer (a long-time fan and acquaintance of Crumb) has ever seen. Each page is packed: lots of faces, odd shapes, weird creatures, anything that came into eighteen-year-old Robert's head. There' s a self-portrait, from July, '61; drawings of well-known Crumb characters like Fritz the Cat; movie stars; girls; random doodles; even a note page describing "Books I should read". The back of the book is taken up with several "Jim and Mabel" strips, including a great fourteen-page epic about Jim and Mabel's night out at the movies. The front cover, dated September, 1961, is a beautifully colored scene of teenagers hanging out, playing pinball. Incredible stuff, and none of it ever reprinted before this catalog!
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