XYZ Comics ...cheating the alphabet with R.Crumb


December 30th, 2023

29 mins 28 secs

Season 4

Your Hosts

About this Episode

to close out 2023's alphabetic soup of comics, we're closing the year with a cheat and reading “XYZ Comics,” by cartoonist legend R. Crumb. “XYZ Comics,” published in 1972, is more of a 28 page pamphlet that reflects Crumb’s rather interesting state of mind at the time. Crumb was a few years out from doing a massive, year-long LSD trip that began in 1965. It greatly impacted his work. He was already known at the time for strips like Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural and Angelfood McSpade - much of which is quite problematic. Starting in the mid-1960s, Crumb's work really started to reflect what he described as the seamy side of America's self-conscious, and drawing these strips almost as stream-of-consciousness. As he said in his eponymous documentary "it didn't have to make sense, it could be stupid, it didn't make any difference” — and “XYZ Comics” really magnified all this because it was created literally while Crumb was on a road trip, which is, “partly why it’s such a jumble of disconnected images.” So close out the year with us with an LSD trip of a comic, and bring your toothpaste.