September 18, 2009

R. Crumb's "Book of Genesis Illustrated."

Chapter 19 — Sodom and Gomorrah — in readable enlargements.

You can pre-order it here.

30 comments:

traditionalguy said...

That judgement of God story was not exactly half hearted, but He did wait and make a full investigation of the facts first. What was He to do with them since He had already foresworn floods? Not the greatest bedtime story in the book for sure.One should read the Gospels to children first.

EDH said...

It was all Crumb could do to convince Mel Gibson that speech bubbles in aramaic with English subtitles wouldn't work in the comic book genre.

Ann Althouse said...

@traditionalguy I don't see it as a children's book at all.

bagoh20 said...

Since the job of creating the world was already taken, drawing it has got to be the next best.

I can't remember what it was that I did instead of learning to draw, but it was a mistake.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Real stand-up guy, that Lot.

Here, rape my two virgin daughters, instead of these total strangers

I'd have a lot more respect for him if it was his own ass he was putting on the line.

Freeman Hunt said...

If they'd wanted Lot, they'd have taken him when he came outside.

Chip Ahoy said...

Does it come in pop-up form?

Kathy said...

I never liked that story because of Lot's behavior, although I do think his attitude was meant to illustrate to us that he too had been corrupted by his surroundings. This year, I'm reading Marco Polo's journals and discovering that values like that (here, have my daughters) were found in Marco Polo's day in some of the areas where he traveled, so apparently Lot wasn't an outlier.

It's ok to read the Old Testament to children--you just have to paraphrase or omit at times. (I don't, for example, read my children the story of the Levite and his concubine, which is similar to Lot's story except that the bad guys accept the concubine.) It's an adult book (as is the New Testament) and is meant to be shared through the filter of a parent. Hence God's commandment to parents to teach it to their children:
Deuteronomy 11:19

Synova said...

Sometimes I think there may be a parallel to the idea that "this is in the Bible therefore it's a good and moral thing" and the notion that anything that is "legal" is also a good and moral thing.

A whole lot of the OT, particularly the History portions starting with Genesis are just about as horrible as anyone would expect ancient society to have been. It's harsh. Taking away from it that there is supposedly some *endorsement* of offering your daughters to be raped reflects on the person making the claim, not on the scriptures.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I think a better buy would be Masterpiece Comics. It has Mary Worth as Lady MacBeth!

peter hoh said...

That will sit nicely on my bookshelf next to The Cartoon History of the Universe.

Ralph L said...

The rules of hospitality were certainly fierce, and those ancient Palestinians were certainly ugly.
Does it come in pop-up form?
They saved that for the story of Onan.

Penny said...

Peter hoh?

Lay down your wand.

YOU are a man I want to speak with, off line and privately.

Paddy O. said...

I don't know. I'd have to see more. Cuz I grew up reading the Picture Bible over and over again, and it seems a bit the same. I still see those images when I think of various stores.

I know Crumb is famous and all, but what's the added benefit of his version. At first glance it seems a bit analogous to Dylan's Christmas album.

The great thing of whatever comics Bible version is that it tells the story, without getting bogged down in details or distractions. You get a real sense of the flow of the whole thing. I still recommend that Picture Bible to adults who are new to Scripture.

Penny said...

Ok, we got one among us who understands "flow".

peter hoh said...

Penny, I'm not sure I understand, but if you really want to contact me, you'll find what you need at my profile page.

RabbitWalker said...

I like Crumb well enough, but I hate sewer snoids. Them f*ckers make me paranoid!
No one is making a connection between Crumb + Book Of Genesis and Dylan + Christmas Carols?
One is: The Pale Rider approacheth; now the Boomers have to seriously start grappling with that. No putting it off any more. Mortality beckons.
(I use "Boomers" with no negativity; I am one myself, although a tail-ender. I am a bit miffed you older guys got all the NIMH windowpane, and the gooey free love, but my tranche had to settle for Paraquat, and herpes and AIDS. No worries, though, we said goodbye to all that after getting jobs and having families and the like.)
Weeks ago someone in the comments disparaged the film "I'm Not There". I'm no Dylan acolyte at this point in my life, haven't really paid much attention to anything after "Desire", some 30-odd years ago. Longer than many of you whippersnappers have been alive, by gum! Despite that, I think "I'm Not There", is a flawed, but noble effort of the first order. I never watch movies more than once, but I've watched that one 3 times and then bought the DVD. Very unusual for me. Makes a nice triple feature with "No Direction Home" and "Factory Girl"
(I'm a long time lurker since a time long before Althouse even had comments activated on this site, so I'm just a freakin' fossil, blogwise!)

RabbitWalker said...

I'm looking forward to "S. Clay Wilson Interprets The Book Of Daniel"

wv: "nesse" French nickname for the Loch Ness Monster. "Voila Nesse! Merdre! Sacre Chats"

RabbitWalker said...

Hey! All the grownups are asleep! This is cool! I feel like the kids in that book where they hide in the department store all night and try to solve a mystery. They take baths in the court fountain, and they scrounge up all the change people throw in the fountain during the day to pay for food and such.
Antique furniture, I remember antique furniture and mother-of-pearl, in that book. Or something. You know, my memory isn't as good as it was. I got just enough of that NIMH 'pane, fortunately.

Anyway.

vw: eness
Bos Hogg's sidekick?

Michael McNeil said...

All this talk about concubines reminds me of when a Dutch client visited the office I was working in at the time, looked over the sea of cubicles, and commented: “We don't have any concubines.”

Classic foot-in-mouth foreign language error, except experienced in one's own.

blake said...

I had a comic book version of the first few books of the Bible as a kid.

Once I saw Eve, I knew then I was going to Hell.

Clyde said...

Why is it that when I look at the drawing of Eve on the cover of the book, I think of Caster Semenya? No wonder Adam looks so glum!

Slow Joe said...

I love it.

It's worth remembering that this was an oral tradition eventually written down. I hate how it's fractured into little numbered sections, as though the bible is a penal code. You can't citecheck an oral tradition.

It's so cool to realize you're reading something that was the major story in someone's culture thousands of years ago. Mankind put this together and kept it.

Althouse may not think of this as a children's book, probably because of the sex and violence, but I think this is a great thing for a reasonably mature child.

Michael Hasenstab said...

I hope that R. Crumb continues illustrating chapters of the OT.

This would be a great Moses.

Slow Joe said...

I guess it's too much to ask him to illustrate the Quran, but I'd love that too.

traditionalguy said...

Sorry everybody, I commented too quickly before refreshing my memory about R. Crumb's being a famous satire cartoonist. My bad. So who still reads comic books except children and R.Crumb lovers?

Bissage said...

Ok, we got one among us who understands "flow".

Penny, I used to understand “flow” but these days I refer to my prostate as “Old Squeezy.”

Paco Wové said...

It's not a book, but this seems like a good place to throw in a plug for the Brick Testament.

peter hoh said...

Paco, The Brick Testament now comes in handy book form. Gave one to my son a few years back.

R said...

Some of us appreciate Crumb as a trend setter and yes, he did break through the wall of censorship that went up after the Congressional comic book hearings in the ’50s. I had a sneak peak of the book of genesis illustrated here and wanted to compare more independent opinions.

For some of us it’s nostalgia—I was a horny, teen-age hippie when I first discovered undergrounds back in the ’60s. That being said, if you study his body of work you start to understand the point of view he brings to even the simplest illustration. Crumb is a self-aware, sexually immature, cynic who has few heroes (blues musicians, etc.). Sure, there are better illustrators but none that would deliver the Bible from his POV. I think of Crumb as the cartoonist’s Ivan Albright. He could draw/paint the loveliest subject and still make you wonder if there wasn’t something rotten just out of view.