R. Crumb’s interpretation of the Book of Genesis is the focus of a new exhibition at the Portland Art Museum. With 207 new black-and-white illustrations, Crumb has depicted the first book of the Old Testament in comic book form, while managing to incorporate every word from all 50 chapters of Genesis. Writing in Print, Bill Kartalopoulos observed:
The Book of Genesis Illustrated is a bookstore-ready graphic novel debut with a killer high concept: Countercultural antihero R. Crumb, iconic as comics’ greatest iconoclast, has, at 65, taken on the Word of God. There is no more notoriously recalcitrant American cartoonist, and one can truly say that the source text is bigger than Jesus. The book’s quick pitch suggests a blasphemous bestseller, guaranteed to supply throaty laughs to its secular readers—if it doesn’t inspire violent protests among the faithful.
The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis
through September 19
Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon