Saturday, November 1, 2014

Crumb-bling

It has been an auction season of mixed success for your intrepid webmaster. I've won some nice, old Topps companion pieces, made some purchases (some of which will be featured here in future posts) and lost out on some really nice items.  My most recent whiff concerns some Robert Crumb sales material produced for Topps in 1965, during his first foray to New York where Woody Gelman reeled him in for a short time after a hoped for job at Harvey Kurtzman's Help! magazine fell through.

During his nine months in New York City Crumb produced Monster Greeting Cards for Topps and did a couple of other projects.  One of these was an 18 page sales brochure designed for Topps jobbers and their retailers, a piece I did not manage to snag.  The brochure is rare (possibly his rarest extant publication) and also chased after by Crumb collectors, who are legion:


Much like his work on Monster Greeting Cards, Crumb's style was not fully developed in 1965. According to the man himself, he didn't start drawing in the style for which he is known now until after he started experimenting with LSD in late 1965 into mid 1966. I am curious if his LSD adventures were shared with anyone at Topps!

Two pages of interior artwork have been auctioned by Heritage fairly recently.  Here is page 5:


Page 13 is a doozy:


I love the old pasteups; everything was done manually back then.

I'm of the opinion that original Crumb artwork is moving into that magical realm of high end art collectors, if it's not there already.  He's going to be looked back upon as one of the 20th Century's major illustrators and artists.

1 comment:

JediJeff said...

As his artwork should. I am certainly not a Crumb collector by any means, but his style is classic and iconic.