Aline Kominsky-Crumb

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Aline Kominsky-Crumb
Kominsky-Crumb in 2012
BornAline Goldsmith
(1948-08-01)August 1, 1948
Long Beach, New York, U.S.
DiedNovember 29, 2022(2022-11-29) (aged 74)
Sauve, Gard, France
Area(s)Cartoonist, Writer, Artist
Notable works
Twisted Sisters
Dirty Laundry Comics
CollaboratorsRobert Crumb
Carl Kominsky
(m. 1968, divorced)

(m. 1978)
ChildrenSophie Crumb

Aline Kominsky-Crumb (née Goldsmith; August 1, 1948 – November 29, 2022) was an American underground comics artist. Kominsky-Crumb's work, which is almost exclusively autobiographical, is known for its unvarnished, confessional nature.[1] In 2016, ComicsAlliance listed Kominsky-Crumb as one of twelve women cartoonists deserving of lifetime achievement recognition.[2] She was married to cartoonist Robert Crumb, with whom she frequently collaborated.[3] Their daughter, Sophie Crumb, is also a cartoonist.


Early life and education[edit]

Aline Goldsmith was born to a Jewish family in the Five Towns area of Long Island, New York.[4][5] Her father was a largely unsuccessful businessman and organized crime associate. As a teenager, she turned to drugs and the counterculture, and was a hanger-on to New York countercultural musicians such as The Fugs. Relocating to East Village during her college years, she began studying art at The Cooper Union.[4][6]

In 1968, Aline married Carl Kominsky, with whom she relocated to Tucson, Arizona. Their marriage did not last long. However, she retained the surname Kominsky after their split. During this time, she attended University of Arizona,[6] graduating with a BFA in 1971.[7]


Kominsky-Crumb was introduced to underground cartoonists Spain Rodriguez and Kim Deitch by former Fugs drummer Ken Weaver, who was living in Tucson at the same time. Rodriguez and Deitch introduced her to underground comix, inspiring her to begin making underground comics herself and to relocate to San Francisco.[4][8]

In 1972, soon after arriving in San Francisco, Aline was introduced to Robert Crumb by mutual friends,[3] who had noted an uncanny resemblance between her and the coincidentally-named Crumb character Honeybunch Kaminski[1] (who had been created in 1970).[9] Their relationship soon became serious, and they began living together.[10]

Kominsky-Crumb also fell in with the Wimmen's Comix collective, and contributed to the first few issues of that series. After she and Diane Noomin had a falling out with Trina Robbins and other members of the collective, they started their own title, Twisted Sisters.[6] Kominsky-Crumb later claimed that a large part of her break with the Wimmen's Comix group was over feminist issues and particularly over her relationship with Robert Crumb, whom Robbins particularly disliked.[4]

Kominsky-Crumb married Crumb in 1978.[11] Their daughter Sophie was born in 1981. Starting in the late 1970s, Aline and Robert produced a series of collaborative comics called Dirty Laundry (also known as Aline & Bob's Dirty Laundry), a comic about the Crumb family life. They both drew their own characters for the comic. Around this time, Kominsky-Crumb began calling her comics avatar "The Bunch," a reference to the similarly named Crumb character.[1] Later installments of Dirty Laundry feature contributions by Sophie, who also began producing comics in her teens.[12]

From 1986 to 1993, Kominsky-Crumb was editor of Weirdo, a leading alternative comics anthology of the time, taking over the editorship from Peter Bagge, who had previously taken over from original editor Robert Crumb. Her editorial reign was known as "Twisted Sisters", reviving that title;[13] Noomin was a frequent Weirdo contributor during this period, which also featured Kominsky-Crumb's own comics.

From 1991, Robert and Aline lived as expatriates in a small French village in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.[6] Aline had long been an avowed Francophile, while Robert had become especially disgusted with American culture, and they believed it would be a better environment for their daughter.[14]

Kominsky-Crumb was featured in a number of scenes in Crumb, the 1994 documentary about the Crumb family.[15]

Kominsky-Crumb and her husband had an open marriage, and Kominsky-Crumb's "second husband", French printmaker Christian Coudurès, lived with the family (as did his daughter, Agathe McCamy, who assisted Kominsky-Crumb in coloring her comics).[14]

In addition to her comics work, Kominsky-Crumb was a painter. After moving to France, she focused more on painting and less on producing comics. In February 2007 she released a memoir entitled Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir,[6] a collection of her comics and paintings, along with photographs and autobiographical writings.[16]

In 2018, Kominsky-Crumb's Love That Bunch, which was originally published in 1990,[6] was expanded by Drawn & Quarterly with new comics and an introduction written by Hillary Chute.[17]


Kominsky-Crumb died from pancreatic cancer at her home in France on November 29, 2022, at the age of 74.[18][19][6]

In popular culture[edit]

In the 2015 movie, The Diary of a Teenage Girl set in San Francisco during the mid-1970's, the heroine, an aspiring cartoonist, imagines herself talking with Kominsky, and apparently writes a letter to Kominsky, and receives a response, encouraging her to continue drawing.


Comics contributed to[edit]

  • Wimmen's Comix #1, 2, #4 (1972–1974)
  • El Perfecto (1973) – contributor & editor
  • Manhunt (1973–1974)
  • Dirty Laundry Comics #1, 2 (1974–1977)
  • Arcade (1975–1976)
  • Twisted Sisters (Last Gasp, 1976) – contributor & editor
  • Lemme Outta Here (The Print Mint, 1978)
  • Best Buy Comics (Apex Novelties / Last Gasp, 1979–88)
  • Weirdo (Last Gasp, 1986–1993) – contributor & editor
  • Real Stuff #6 (Fantagraphics, 1992)
  • Twisted Sisters #4 (Kitchen Sink Press, 1994)
  • Self-Loathing Comics #1 & 2 (Fantagraphics, 1995–97)


  • Twisted Sisters: A Collection of Bad Girl Art. Penguin. 1991. ISBN 0140153772.)
  • The Complete Dirty Laundry Comics. Last Gasp. 1993. ISBN 0867193794.)
  • Twisted Sisters 2: Drawing the Line. Kitchen Sink Press. 1994. ISBN 0878163441.)
  • Drawn Together: The Collected Works of R. and A. Crumb. Norton. 2012. ISBN 087140429X.)

Solo work[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Beckerman, Gail (May 14, 2018). "PROFILE: The Yoko Ono of Comics, on Her Own Terms". New York Times.
  2. ^ CA Staff (January 29, 2016). "A Life's Work: 12 Women Who Deserve Lifetime Achievement Recognition". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on August 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Mouly, Françoise (December 2, 2022). "Remembering the Artist Aline Kominsky-Crumb, a Trailblazing Funny Woman". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved January 23, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d Kominsky-Crumb, Aline. (2007). Need More Love. New York: MQ Publications. ISBN 1-84601-133-7
  5. ^ Noomin, Diane (1991). Twisted Sisters: A Collection of Bad Girl Art. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-015377-2.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Aline Kominsky-Crumb, underground cartoonist, dies at 74". CULTURE. NPR. The Associated Press. December 1, 2022.
  7. ^ Lightman, Sarah (2014). Graphic Details: Jewish Women's Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 234. ISBN 9780786465538.
  8. ^ Mouly, Françoise (December 2, 2022). "Remembering the Artist Aline Kominsky-Crumb, a Trailblazing Funny Woman". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved January 23, 2024.
  9. ^ Crumb, R. (1970). "Untitled ['I'm no playboy! I'm a workboy!']". Bijou Funnies. No. 4.
  10. ^ "The Aline Kominsky-Crumb Interview". The Comics Journal. No. 139. Interviewed by Peter Bagge. December 1990.
  11. ^ Duff, Lindsay (January 27, 2003). "Thumbnail: R Crumb". Ninth Art. Archived from the original on June 17, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2007.
  12. ^ The Complete Dirty Laundry Comics. Last Gasp. June 1993.
  13. ^ "Weirdo". Last Gasp. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010.
  14. ^ a b Salkinjan, Allen (January 21, 2007). "Mr. and Mrs. Natural". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Guthmann, Edward (May 26, 1995). "Exposing the Nerves of Crumb's Tortured Soul - Film profiles underground artist of '60s". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  16. ^ Dollar, Steve (February 26, 2007). "Love Among the Crumbs". The New York Sun. Retrieved February 27, 2007.
  17. ^ Sava, Oliver (May 2, 2018). "Aline Kominsky-Crumb explores her past in this Love That Bunch exclusive". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  18. ^ Salkowitz, Rob. "RIP Pioneering Underground Cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb". Forbes. Retrieved November 30, 2022.
  19. ^ Sandomir, Richard (December 3, 2022). "Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Pioneering Comics Memoirist, Dies at 74". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2022.


External links[edit]