The Zap Man Cometh
The American comic strip has enjoyed the attentions of some extraordinary talent -- Winsor McCay, Al Kapp, Chester Gould -- but in the last 50-odd years, a paltry few have come close to attaining that level of graphic expression and cultural significance. One shining exception to prove that rule, of course, is underground visionary R. Crumb , the old-time blues and big-legged woman-fixated artist who first flipped wigs some four decades back with his graciously intense contributions to psychedelic, eroto-maniacal outlaw periodical Zap Comics. While his best known characters from that period -- Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat -- have long since entered the pantheon of All American low-life iconography (and even led to arrest on obscenity charges), Crumb has always tried for farther(and invariably succeeded) via a series of increasingly sophisticated cartoon narratives, and this hypermaxi-ultra rare public appearance by the infamously withdrawn (if not downright agoraphobic) Crumb revolves around his most insanely ambitious undertaking to date: an illustrated edition of the Bible's Book of Genesis (an exhibition that, not coincidentally, opens that day at the Hammer Museum). The potential here is mind-bending, and if Crumb is well and truly prepared to finally let his hair down in a public forum, it should result in a fascinating glimpse into the M.O. of one of Western Civilizations most idiosyncratic and gifted observers (assuming, of course, that he doesn't just crawl under a chair and remain there, silently, for the next two hours). Long story short, an opportunity not to be squandered.
Thu., Oct. 29, 8 p.m., 2009
Get the Events Newsletter
What's happening in town? From underground club nights to the biggest outdoor festivals, our top picks for the week's best events will always keep you in on the action.