Robert Crumb : M. Natural
#comic We twist the rule of the game a little, it is not strictly speaking a graphic novel, but we did not want to ignore the work of Robert Crumb who influenced several generations of authors as much by his fascinating drawing as his vision of autobiography and his freedoms with the codes of comic strips. With Fritz the cat, Mr. Natural is one of the most emblematic characters in Robert Crumb’s work. It appeared in 1968 in the first issue of Zap Comix, entirely directed and edited by R. Crumb before being joined by other designers for the following issues. This anthology issue materializes the massive diffusion of underground comics, now comix. With Gilbert Shelton and his Fabulous Freak Brothers (in the summary of No. 3 of Zap Comix), he will embody this comic strip counter-culture by multiplying publications, media and subjects. Between crooked hippie and spiritual guide for cynical, Mr Natural’s boards showcase America of the 60s and 70s and grab society’s subjects. Politics, feminism, racism through the prism of the new age wave in vogue at the time. This fetish character crossed the 60s and 70s and then disappeared from circulation before being rehired by his author in the 80s. À at the same time, he will alternate characters and story types in Zap Comix and other media.
A large part of his stories are collected and republished by Cornelius, often with unpublished works, reworked plates, introductions… We particularly recommend My problems with women, Mister Nostalgia and Amerika. Cornelius continues his policy of re-publishing the master, and has just published Mode O’Day, a collection of short stories in which he attacks ultra-liberalism, consumerism and the state of mind of a country where the human being is only a product like any other. Strips published in the 80s in the Weirdo magazine, with a lot of fake ads and hilarious pastiches still very much in the news 40 years later. Profitons-en to also mention Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor. Presented as an autobiographical work, Harvey Pekar will recount his daily life in comic books illustrated by friends and illustrators. Robert Crumb illustrated some of the issues gathered at Cornelius in the Harv’n Bob collection. It can also be found in the 3 anthology volumes in Ça et Là, which includes most of Pekar et Co’s publications, which we strongly recommend.
He is the youngest author to have been in the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame in 1991. And in France, the only author who won the Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême in 1999 to have his poster censored.
Mr Natural de R. Crumb ed Cornelius
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