Book Review: R. Crumb’s “The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb”

October 27th, 2009, 2:57 pm by Greg

RCrumbThe text is original, but the illustrations – all 1200 or so – are strictly R. Crumb, as evidenced by the title, “The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb” ($24.95, 224 pages, W.W. Norton & Co.). Before charges of blasphemy are raised, this is not Zap Comix-does-The Bible. Rather, it is a fairly straight-forward illustration job, although there are plenty of “Crumb-isms” to keep you interested.

The story? The Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Babel, Abraham, who begot who, Joseph’s coat, Egypt, famine … it’s all there. The illustrations are not a sly or subversive attempt at re-interpretation. They are Crumb’s representation, from his own unique and singular mental imagining of the world, of the text.

OK, God is a strict old man with a long beard and robes. What else could he be?

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