Saturday, November 14, 2009

R. Crumb gets biblical...

About a month ago Robert Crumb released a new comic that I am quite excited to read, an illustrated version of...The Book of Genesis?
The Big Guy Upstairs

That's right, the comic world's most famous misanthropic grouch is tackling religion in a fully illustrated version of The Old Testament's story of creation. And why not? Sounds like God in the Old Testament was one hell of grouch too. It looks like the whole catalogue of old favorites are in this book, from Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden to Noah's Ark to Sodom and Gomorrah (you know that's gotta be good) to the Tower of Babel. It's a greatest hits of creationism!

The Big Bang as described by religious types

Upon first hearing about this project I immediately thought it smacked of gimmickry. The most famously raunchy comic artist does the Bible, it sounded too forcibly subversive just for the sake of shock value. After reading many reviews of it, however, I am really looking forward to getting ahold the thing. The general consensus seems to be that Crumb has taken the tales of Genesis, stripped them of their "sacredness" and presented them as straight up stories that he tries to make entertaining in their own right. Where some Christians and Jews may find offense is in how Crumb is apparently interested in presenting God, Adam, Eve and the rest of the cast of characters as just people. Ugly, dirty people who have roles in this neat story called The Old Testament, which is a new and I think interesting take on these fables. If the critics are to be believed his approach works quite well and apparently makes for some gripping drama and some surprisingly moving stories lines.

Now I have no interest in Judaism or Christianity so this method of toning down the religion and turning up the story really appeals to me. I also am simply interested to see a comic that took Robert Crumb 5 years(!) to make. I'll get back with a review of my own sometime soon hopefully, till then here's some further reading...

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