Aline Kominsky-Crumb (b. 1948) is an underground comix artist most famous for her autobiographical
stories of growing up in Long Island, New York during the 1960s. In these stories she refers to
herself as "The Bunch", a nickname she was apparently given as a child. She was born Aline Goldsmith
to a middle class Jewish family. The superficial nouveau-riche culture that she grew up in and the
constant bickering of her parents led her to turn towards drugs, the counterculture and Greenwich
Village as a teenager. Instead of going to therapy, she draws comic books about her life. Kominsky
draws in a "fast" style, without much attention to detail or overall impression, but she easily makes
up for this by her very witty observations and twists and turns.
Aline contributed her humorous comics to: "Wimmen's Comix", "El Perfecto", "Lemme Outta Here",
"Arcade", "Dirty Laundry", "Manhunt", "Weirdo" and "Twisted Sisters" (depicted here) among others.
Aline was also a former editor of "Weirdo" magazine. The informed reader might know that "Weirdo"
was founded by the legendary underground comic artist Robert Crumb, and that Aline's second surname
is not a coincidence (Aline Kominsky-Crumb is Robert Crumb's wife). She wrote "Dirty Laundry," a
comic about the Crumb family life, with her husband. Each of them drew his or her own characters
in the panels of the comic. Later their daughter Sophie (now a published comic artist) contributed
her drawings to "Dirty Laundry" as well.
After I (Gary Cifra, Lines On Paper founder) published my first issue of "Big Wimp Funnies", I
immediately sent a copy to Aline at "Weirdo". I don't remember the chain of events, but we ended up
in several terrific phone chats. It was a minor treat when her husband answered the phone and said,
"just a minute...". Anyway, she liked my comic and asked me to do one for the hottest magazine in
sequential circles that really matter, "Weirdo"! I spent the next 4 or 5 months on a six page "Big
Wimp" classic (that she unfortunately rejected).
As to her drawing style, I think of the great French film maker Jean-Luc Godard. To the unwitting eye,
the viewer may come away with comments like "sloppy," and "fast" (as in no second takes). For Godard,
if the scene still works when the sound goes off halfway through, then good enough! To reshoot it
would be a waste of time as well as a waste of film. Aline tells great stories that are both hilarious
and heartbreaking. It would be a waste of time sharpening her drawing skills as well as a great filmmaker
like Godard or a guitar player in a great thrash band, if you like that sort of thing.
NEED MORE LOVE, Aline's graphic memoir (pictured right), recounts her wild and crazy journey, which took her from her beginnings as a nice Jewish girl from Long Island to kinky Greewich Village in the sixties, and then to California, the legendary land of sex, drugs and undergound comic books, and finally on to her medieval chateau in the south of France. In this no-holds-barred hilarious and outrageous book she faithfully chronicles her dysfunctional fifties shildhood, failed first marriage, studies at art school, and family life with husband R. Crumb and their daughter Sophie.
You can purchase NEED MORE LOVE here:
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