It’s not like Bill Watterson coming out of the woodwork, but it’s somewhat close: first uncelebrated, now celebrated Robert Crumb is making a rare public appearance at UCLA’s Royce Hall on October 29. He’ll be here to discuss his life’s work, up to and including his latest endeavor, The Book of Genesis. This foray into John Milton territory recently was hailed as an “honest, powerful violent rendering of the Bible’s first book” by the Los Angeles Times this past Sunday. Francoise Mouly will lead the discussion. (Francoise Mouly is the former cartoon editor and current art director at The New Yorker, introduced readers to an excerpt of The Book of Genesis earlier this summer in the magazine, and, incidentally, is married to Maus author Art Spiegelman) (I mention this only because you can now rest assured that this appearance won’t be one of those Charlie Rose type ordeals in which the moderator has no relevant background or knowledge about the interview subject’s expertise and so verbally flails about during the interview that he appears, at best, like a sycophant and, at worst like a fanboy). Tickets are $18 for UCLA students; for us out-of-school-ers, the cultural tuition fee is hiked up to somewhere between $36 to $60, depending on how close you need to get to the chalkboard.
For those who miss the talk, you don’t have to miss the art: UCLA will host a related exhibit in the Hammer Museum. “The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis” will be on view from October 24 to February 7. For future reference, Thursdays are free!