The Paris Review

R. Crumb’s Portraits of Aline and Others

Whatever one thinks of his subject matter, it’s difficult to deny R. Crumb’s prodigiousness with the pencil. He’s a master of crosshatching, and his illustrations and comics boil over with ideas, all sketched in his distinctive style: controlled yet frenzied, obsessed with proportion, often lewd and also oddly sweet. In his , Crumb hints,” gives us a glimpse into Crumb’s mind through comics tear sheets and rarely shown pages from his private sketchbooks. Perhaps most striking among the sketchbook selections are his portraits of Aline Kominsky-Crumb, his longtime creative partner and wife. Lost in thought, she stares out from the page. She relaxes on the couch with her eyes half closed. She reads in the sunshine, her “ass getting sunburned while posing.” In a body of work notable for its horniness, these pictures of Aline stand out for their care and tenderness. No matter how lost Crumb gets in his own world (t The Book of Genesis,

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