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R. Crumb's Dream Diary

At the midpoint of R. Crumb’s Dream Diary, a new book by legendary cartoonist Robert Crumb, the artist details a dream he once endured called “Dream of Huge Woman in Thigh-High Boots,” in which he lusts after an overweight and incredibly tall woman who wears nothing but thigh-high leather boots. He attempts to resist her charms but eventually climbs into bed with her, despite the presence of a prying crowd that includes his wife Aline and a film crew. He is overcome with desire, shame, and anxiety so powerful it awakens him. Sounds about right.

Since his arrival on the psychedelic comics scene in the 1960s, Crumb has built a career on the abandonment of inhibition and subsequent excavation of humankind’s inherent filthiness. He is a dedicated chronicler of the id and no stranger to the public confessional. He has repeatedly mined every aspect of his personal life for his work, utilizing both caricature and portraiture to feature scenes from his own life and relationships. Incredibly prolific, he lent his vision to the mainstream (Janis Joplin’s Cheap Thrills album cover for example) and subculture (consider Zap Comix, or the serialized characters Fritz The Cat and Mr. Natural) but often returned to an inward gaze. To quote Crumb from the preface: “What could be more interesting in life than exploring this inner realm of the mind?”...

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