by R. Crumb
Envisioning the first book of the Bible like no one else, the legendary illustrator R. Crumb reveals the story of Genesis in a profoundly honest and deeply moving way. Originally thinking that he would do a takeoff of Adam and Eve, Crumb became so fascinated by the Bible’s language, “a text so great and so strange that it lends itself readily to graphic depictions,” that he decided instead to do a literal interpretation using primarily the translations of Robert Alter and the King James Bible.
Now, readers of all persuasions—Crumb fans, comic book lovers and believers—can gain astonishing new insights from these harrowing, tragic and even juicy stories. Crumb’s Book of Genesis reintroduces us to the bountiful, tree-lined garden of Adam and Eve, Noah's massive ark with beasts of every kind, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by brimstone and fire that rained from the heavens and the Egypt of the Pharaoh, where Joseph’s embalmed body is carried in a coffin, in a scene as elegiac as any in Genesis. To interpret the stories, the author uses clues from the text and peels away the theological and scholarly interpretations that have often obscured the Bible’s most dramatic stories. Crumb fleshes out a parade of Biblical originals: from the serpent in Eden to the humanoid reptile appearing like an alien out of a science fiction movie to Jacob, a “kind’ve depressed guy who doesn’t strike you as physically courageous,” and his bother, Esau, “a rough and kick-ass guy,” to Abraham’s wife Sarah, more fetching than most woman at 90, to God himself, “a standard Charlton Heston-like figure with long white hair and a flowing beard.”
Crumb’s Book of Genesis, the culmination of five years of painstaking work, is a tapestry of masterly detail and storytelling, which celebrates the astonishing diversity of the one of our greatest artistic geniuses.
Adult supervision recommended for minors