Robert Crumb is baffled by his fame, says Celia Farber in Stopsmilingonline.com. For years the underground comic-strip artist toiled in anonymity, barely known to the public as the creator of Fritz the Cat and the popular “Keep on Truckin’” logo seen on innumerable T-shirts.
Then, in 1995, filmmaker Terry Zwigoff released his critically acclaimed documentary Crumb. “All of a sudden,” recalls Crumb, 65, “these people in the art world thought I must be somebody important. It’s always been sort of bewildering, how and why they embraced me.” It’s as if, he says, his admirers thought he was some sort of highbrow auteur. “All their ideas were just completely out there in some ivory-tower world, some twilight zone. I don’t understand art-speak. When I read those magazines I think, What the f--- are they talking about? I feel like a freak in that world. When I’ve had these gallery shows and I’m asked to speak, I’ll get right up and say I don’t understand what this is all about. And everybody goes ha ha ha. But I don’t get sucked in. Because next week one of these guys will write the most scathing put-down of your work. And if you buy into it, you’re going to be hurt.”