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An Archive of 4 Items of Correspondence and 3 Addressed Envelopes from Robert Crumb
The American artist and illustrator, Robert Crumb, is often viewed of as a central figure in the underground comic scene of the sixties, and is most known for creating Zap Comix and the characters Fritz the Cat and Mr. Natural. R. Crumb started on his comic book path with his older brother, Charles, the two of them producing several comics together. In the mid-sixties, Crumb joined the staff of Harvey Kurtzman's magazine Help!, and in 1967, he moved to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, which is where he published his first underground comic book, Zap Comix. Decades later, in 1995, Robert Crumb moved to the south of France, still producing original comics and contributing illustrated articles to such publications as The New Yorker, and focusing his attention on collecting and performing little-known musical compositions of the 1920s and 30s. An archive of 4 pieces of correspondence (all signed) and 3 envelopes relating to Robert Crumb, and representing a warm and familiar exchange between Robert Crumb and Utah artist and Highland High School art instructor, Patrick Eddington. In each message, Robert Crumb manages to reveal a great deal about himself, including his views about artistic mentors, the firm way he values his own time, the methodic way he collects music, and his ties to his own familial past. Another interesting characteristic of the correspondence, is that in a couple of instances, although he is discussing his own life in detail, R. Crumb manages to show genuine concern for his friend and pen pal, Patrick Eddington, revealing an empathetic side to the eccentric illustrator. Crumb is always entertaining, and he maximizes the space of each note, with his extremely legible writing neatly covering the entire surface. An Archive which contains the following: Autographed Postcard Signed. Dated August 8, 2002. Sent from Sauve, France. 5 ¾ x 4". Postmarked. Addressed simply to "Eddington!" "It's probably too late for your article for the National Art Education Association... I've been swamped with work and visitors here- was in the U. S. (west coast) all of May & half of June- The question was, did I have a teacher who was influential? The answer just to satisfy your curiosity, is, no, not in any school context. Art teachers in high school- I had two different ones- Mr. Kunkel & Mr. Ferranto, both disliked me. Mr. Ferranto told me one day that if I continued drawing cartoons I would end up in the street selling pencils. My older brother Charles was the best teacher I ever had... I learned a lot just by studying the work of artists I admired in books. I never went to museums. I did not attend art school. One learns what one needs to know if the motivation is strong enough... I lived out my youth on paper... I was terrified of the real world." Autographed Postcard Signed. Dated September 28th, 2002. Sent from Sauve, France. 4 x 5 ¾". In a postmarked envelope. Robert Crumb writes, "First of all, I'm only interested in the period of the 1920s and '30s, and mostly in jazz, blues & country music." Crumb goes on to list his very specific wants concerning each record label, and closes by stating, "My phone number is____, it's 8 hrs. later here, but I stay up til 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, usually. If you call from the guy's house, I'll call you right back, as I have a very cheap long-distance service." ALS. Dated April 1, 2004. Sent from Sauve, France. In a postmarked envelope. 8 ¼ x 11 ¾". Written in pencil. In this letter, Crumb expresses his appreciation for the efforts that Eddington has made in locating information about Crumb's grandfather's involvement in the Philadelphia string-band scene. He writes, "My grandfather, my mother's father, was Joseph Hall. He was not successful in life... My mother told me that he played in the Uptown String Band, in the 1920s, maybe also in the '30s. I don't know if he played in the Mummer's Parades or not. I think my mother said that he did, but I'm not certain. He played banjo, mandolin, & guitar... I have no photos of my grandfather from the 1920s & '30s. He was a shy, quiet man. He divorced my grandmother in 1933 and spent the remaining eleven years of his life living alone in a hotelroom [sic] in Philadelphia." Crumb ends the letter by telling Eddington that he would rather not do a signed, limited edition of the cat print that he had previously sent him. He states, "Man, I hate signing prints. It's a day out of my life, a day shot to hell, as far as I'm concerned. Will you still be my friend if I say I'd rather not?? But outside of that, I hope that this finds you in good health and prosperous. 'It's a great life if you don't weaken.' (old song). I eagerly await anything that your cousins in Philadelphia may discover about Old Joe Hall. -R. Crumb." Autographed Postcard Signed. Dated January 3, 2007. Sent from Sauve, France. 5 ¾ x 4". Postmarked. Crumb opens right away with a show of concern for his friend by stating to Patrick, "I was beginning to wonder what had become of you, as you used to write to me more frequently, even if I didn't always answer... But I know I'm not a very good correspondent. I can't keep up with it... There's always too much going on... I'm always behind in my work... Eeyaah... But anyway, glad to see that you're still hanging in there..." The meat of the postcard consists of Crumb discussing music and records (Crumb brings up Ken Sanders here). At the end of the postcard Crumb agrees to autograph postcards for Eddington. Three empty postmarked envelopes, personally addressed by R. Crumb to Patrick Eddington, and sent from Sauve, France.
      [Bookseller: Ken Sanders Rare Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2018-02-19           Check availability:      Biblio    

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