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An underground cartoonist whose intimate knowledge of LSD inspired his wild creations and who elevated the phrase "Keep on Truckin'" to the level of an American institution may not be the obvious candidate to draw a comic book version of the Book of Genesis.
But then nothing Robert Crumb has done has been obvious.
In the 1960s, he came to pre-eminence in alternative circles for his sexually explicit and bizarre comic characters Fritz the Cat and Mr Natural.
His latest venture, five years in the crafting, is an illustrated rendering of the first 50 chapters of the Bible.
"Nothing left out!" the book boasts on its cover, and certainly, every word of Genesis is faithfully recorded. Nor are there embellishments - Crumb had no need of them, given that Genesis's ample quotient of murder, rape and incest gave plenty for the darker side of his art to dwell on.
But the book does carry the warning "adult supervision recommended for minors".
On Saturday all the original black-and-white drawings that have been packed into 201 pages will go on display at the Hammer museum in Los Angeles, before embarking on a nationwide tour.
The project has emerged out of Crumb's peculiarly divided background. His father, a former marine, was an atheist and his home secular, but the young Crumb was sent to Catholic school in order to receive a disciplined education.
"I don't believe it's the word of God," he told Associated Press, referring to the Bible. "At the same time, I think the stories are very powerful. I'm not out to ridicule them or belittle them."
Crumb, who lives a reclusive existence in the south of France, has said that the book took so much out of him he is now in recovery. Asked about his next project, he replied: "I guess next I'll tackle the Qur'an. See how that goes over."
Quote: I guess next I'll tackle the Qur'an. See how that goes over.
... Keep on Truckin' , Bro ... In 6th grade I got caught with his 2nd issue of Zap Comix...Needless to say the teacher and principal didn't get it. My parents were kinda OK, blamed it on my older brother for allowing me to steal it.Wish I still had it...Zap Comix Link... No wonder I dig chicks with big tits with no bra...