Critical Reception of Aline Kominsky-Crumb

Aline Kominsky-Crumb is widely hailed as a seminal figure in American comics. As one of the first contributors for the influential, all-female underground comic anthology Wimmen’s Comix, Kominsky helped blaze a path for other aspiring female artists at the time, as well as spear-heading the autobiographical cartoonist movement.

Critics compliment Kominsky for her self-awareness; Kumar Sivasubramanian of the Deconstructing Comics Podcast even going as far as to state  that she’s so aware that “just [pulling] quotes out of [Need More Love]” would equate to reviewing the book himself.

Kominsky is praised for her self-deprecating sense of humour, and how she “distills every out except the warts” when she retells her life. She’s crude, raw, and often unabashedly lewd with her comics and stories. She also handles her vernacular dialogue well, spelling out words the way she would’ve pronounced them (“strong” became “strawng”–something the reader might not have understood if they didn’t read it out loud). It helps to capture the characters and settings depicted in Kominsky’s childhood.

KS from the Deconstructing Comics Podcast hoped to have seen more collaborations between Kominsky and her husband, Robert Crumb, as they were “an absolute rambling joy of a comic”.

Reviewers on GoodReads generally agree that Kominsky’s art is “unconventional,” “primitive and raw”, or kindly put “of differing aesthetics” than the reader’s own. However, many agree that her eclectic life was a joy to read, and offered a great depiction of the time she lived in. A compelling storyteller, Kominsky is “brutally honest” about herself as well as the circumstances she found herself in. Less appreciated, however, was her vanity–one reviewer even stated that “[Kominsky] needs to love others more and herself a bit less.”

Bibliography

Baumgold, Adam . “Aline Krominsky Crumb – Need More Love.” Untitled Document. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2017. <http://www.adambaumgoldgallery.com/KominskyCrumb_Aline/Kominskycrumb.htm&gt;.

Sivasubramanian, Kumar. “– Deconstructing Comics.” » Review: Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir– Deconstructing Comics: A podcast about the craft of comics –. Deconstructing Comics, 1 Sept. 2011. Web. 28 July 2017. <http://deconstructingcomics.com/?p=1297&gt;.

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