Aline Kominsky-Crumb, underground cartoonist, dies at 74 - Albuquerque Journal

Aline Kominsky-Crumb, underground cartoonist, dies at 74

Aline Kominsky-Crumb, an American cartoonist known for her feminist themes and often brutally frank, highly personal and self-critical work, has died at the age of 74.

Kominsky-Crumb, who was a close collaborator of her cartoonist husband, Robert Crumb, died of cancer Tuesday at their longtime home in France, said Alexander Wood, manager of the website that sells Crumb’s work.

“She was the hub of the wheel within her family and community,” the website wrote in announcing her death. “She had a huge amount of energy which she poured into her artwork, her daughter, her grandchildren and the meals which brought everyone together. “

Kominsky-Crumb was known for work that was not only autobiographical but often bracingly sexual — focusing on her insecurities — and explicit. Or just raunchy. An early cover of the”Twisted Sisters” anthology — on which she collaborated with cartoonist Diane Noomin during her early years in the Bay Area — depicted her sitting nearly naked on the toilet, wondering how many calories there were in a cheese enchilada.

“People said to me, ‘That is so outrageous, how could you draw yourself sitting on a toilet?'” she said in a 2019 video interview. “I said, ‘I don’t know, it seemed natural to me.'” She noted that could only draw on herself in her work, because “it’s the only thing I know about.”

Kominsky-Crumb described as creative influences both German Expressionist art and the late Jewish comic Joan Rivers, whose standup routines she admired partly for their self-deprecating nature. Much more recently, she also admired Lena Dunham and her show “Girls,” and was thrilled to learn that Dunham had actually said she was influenced by Kominsky-Crumb’s artwork.

Author Art Spiegelman made a similar connection.

“She has something in common with Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, women who are trying to grapple with their identities in a way that is not prettified,” Spiegelman, author of “Maus,” said in a 2018 article in The New York Times. “They are just trying to live and breathe as women with all their contradictions. And it’s a liberated and liberating way of looking at oneself.”

Kominsky-Crumb was born in the Five Towns area of Long Island, New York.

“Reading and drawing and painting were the things that saved me from a very difficult childhood,” she said in the 2019 interview, “with somewhat harsh parents.”

She studied art in her college years at The Cooper Union in Manhattan, and later relocated to Arizona, earning a bachelor’s in fine arts at the University of Arizona. She met Crumb — often known as R. Crumb — in the early 1970s in San Francisco, where she became part of the all-female Wimmen’s Comix collective before breaking with the group and starting “Twisted Sisters” with Noomin, who died in September.

The break in the collective was between two factions with different approaches, she said — those who were “very militant feminists” and others, like her, “who were feminists but also liked men.”

“I felt like I wanted to have as much sex as possible and be as promiscuous as I wanted to be on my own terms,” she said. “Just as men did.”

With Crumb, whom she married in 1978, she produced a series of comics called “Aline and Bob’s Dirty Laundry” about their family. They had a daughter, Sophie, who is also a comics artist. In the early 1990s, the family moved to France, settling in a medieval village in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. A documentary about their life, “Crumb,” was released in 1994.

Among her works, Kominsky-Crumb published a graphic memoir, “Need More Love,” in 2007, a collection of her artwork over four decades. Her retrospective “Love That Bunch” was published in 1990 and expanded in 2018.

“I can’t help seeing the absurdity of myself at all times,” she said in the 2019 interview, trying to describe her ethos. “That’s just the consciousness that I have and that I’ve always had of myself, as being an absurd creature on this planet.”

Kominsky-Crumb is survived by husband Robert, 79, and daughter Sophie, 41.

___

AP National Writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report from New York.

___

This story was updated on Dec. 5 to update the reference to the Five Towns area of Long Island where Kominsky-Crumb was born.

Home » Entertainment » Most Recent Entertainment News » Aline Kominsky-Crumb, underground cartoonist, dies at 74

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Doctors flee New Mexico – and more ...
ABQnews Seeker
The state's physician numbers are under ... The state's physician numbers are under national provider-to-population benchmarks
2
Untangling the policies and politics of New Mexico's medical ...
ABQnews Seeker
Legislature looking at changes to 2021 ... Legislature looking at changes to 2021 law designed to help doctors
3
Albuquerque to consider capping vacation rentals
ABQnews Seeker
Mayor Tim Keller's proposal stems from ... Mayor Tim Keller's proposal stems from the city's 'Housing Forward' initiative
4
U.S. Fish and Wildlife counts, treats and gathers data ...
ABQnews Seeker
Annual count is part of federal ... Annual count is part of federal Wolf Recovery Plan
5
Reader mailbag: On Lobo basketball, the Mountain West tourney, ...
College
Journal staff writer Geoff Grammer answers ... Journal staff writer Geoff Grammer answers reader questions about Lobo basketball, the Mountain West Tournament and more.
6
Federal court records detail shooting of Border Patrol agent
ABQnews Seeker
Suspected human trafficker charged with attempted ... Suspected human trafficker charged with attempted murder in Jan. 5 incident near Animas
7
Any given soup day: Slurpers show up for Souper ...
ABQnews Seeker
It was the chefs — not ... It was the chefs — not the Chiefs — who battled in this Souper Bowl.
8
A New Mexico deputy education secretary has resigned. She ...
ABQnews Seeker
Jacquelyn Archuleta-Staehlin steps down a week ... Jacquelyn Archuleta-Staehlin steps down a week after the PED announced her appointment, and amid questions about whether she was a good fit
9
Founding member of the Taos Society of Artists, W. ...
Arts
The Harwood Museum of Art will ... The Harwood Museum of Art will host 'William Herbert 'Buck' Dunton: A Mainer Goes West' through May 21.
10
Roundhouse roundup: 6 major stories from New Mexico’s legislative ...
ABQnews Seeker
Pretrial detention, prescribed burns, tax rebates ... Pretrial detention, prescribed burns, tax rebates among the issues weighed