Kominsky-Crumb in 2012
August 1, 1948
Long Beach, New York, U.S.
|Area(s)||Cartoonist, Writer, Penciller, Artist, Inker|
Dirty Laundry Comics
Aline Kominsky-Crumb (née Goldsmith; born August 1, 1948) is an American underground comics artist. Kominsky-Crumb's work, which is almost exclusively autobiographical, is known for its unvarnished, confessional nature. In 2016, Comics Alliance listed Kominsky-Crumb as one of twelve women cartoonists deserving of lifetime achievement recognition. She is the wife and frequent collaborator of underground cartoonist Robert Crumb, as well as the mother of cartoonist Sophie Crumb.
Early life and education
Aline Goldsmith was born to a Jewish family in the Five Towns area of Long Island, New York. 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.
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, graduating with a BFA in 1971.
Aline 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.
In 1972, soon after arriving in San Francisco, Aline was introduced to Robert Crumb by mutual friends, who had noted an uncanny resemblance between her and the coincidentally-named Crumb character Honeybunch Kaminski (who had been created in 1970). Their relationship soon became serious, and they began living together.
She 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. 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.
Aline married Crumb in 1978. Their daughter Sophie was born in 1981. Since the late 1970s, Aline and Robert have 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. Later installments of Dirty Laundry feature contributions by Sophie, who also began producing comics in her teens.
For several years during the 1980s, Kominsky-Crumb was editor of Weirdo, a leading alternative comics anthology of the time, taking over editorship from Peter Bagge, who previously taken over from original editor Robert Crumb. Her editorial reign was known as "Twisted Sisters", reviving that title.
Since 1991, Robert and Aline have lived as expatriates in a small French village in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Aline had long been an avowed Francophile, while Robert had become especially disgusted with American culture. They also believed it would be a better environment for their daughter.
Aline and Robert have an open marriage, and Aline's "second husband", French printmaker Christian Coudurès, lives with the family (as does his daughter, Agathe McCamy, who assists Aline in coloring her comics).
In addition to her comics work, Kominsky-Crumb is a painter. Since moving to France, she has focused more on painting and less on producing comics. In February 2007 she released a memoir entitled Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir, a collection of her comics and paintings, along with photographs and autobiographical writings.
In 2018, Kominsky-Crumb's Love That Bunch which was originally published in 1990 was expanded by Drawn and Quarterly with new comics and an introduction written by Hillary Chute.
Comics contributed to
- 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)
- The Bunch's Power Pak Comics (Kitchen Sink Press, 1979–81)
- Love That Bunch (Fantagraphics, 1990) (ISBN 1560970170); re-issued by Drawn & Quarterly 2018 (ISBN 978-1-77046-305-9)
- Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir (MQ Publications, 2007) (ISBN 1846011337)
- Beckerman, Gail. "PROFILE: The Yoko Ono of Comics, on Her Own Terms," New York Times (May 14, 2018).
- Lifetime Achievement Awards Comics Alliance Archived August 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- Kominsky-Crumb, Aline. (2007). Need More Love. New York: MQ Publications. ISBN 1-84601-133-7
- Noomin, Diane. (1991). Twisted Sisters: A Collection of Bad Girl Art. Penguin Books, New York. ISBN 0-14-015377-2
- Lightman, Sarah (2014). Graphic Details: Jewish Women's Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 234. ISBN 9780786465538.
- Crumb, R. Untitled ["I'm no playboy! I'm a workboy!"], Bijou Funnies #4 (1970).
- Bagge, Peter. "The Aline Kominsky-Crumb Interview," The Comics Journal #139 (December 1990).
- Duff, Lindsay. "Thumbnail: R Crumb" Archived June 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Ninth Art (website), January 27, 2003. Retrieved on May 23, 2007.
- The Complete Dirty Laundry Comics (Last Gasp, June 1993).
- Weirdo page at Last Gasp website. Archived January 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Accessed December 14, 2008.
- Salkinjan, Allen (January 21, 2007). "Mr. and Mrs. Natural". New York Times.
- Dollar, Steve (February 26, 2007). "Love Among the Crumbs". The New York Sun. Retrieved February 27, 2007.
- Sava, Oliver. "Aline Kominsky-Crumb explores her past in this Love That Bunch exclusive". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Chute, Hillary L. (2010). Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-15062-0. OCLC 496610090.
- Aline Kominsky-Crumb at IMDb
- Mary Fleener reviews Aline Kominsky Crumb's NEED MORE LOVE from Mineshaft magazine, issue #20 (September 2007)
- Video Short Aline and her cousin Ilana Arazie in Florid, March 30, 2010
- Let My Botox Go Blog Aline's latest Florida adventure, February 20, 2011
- Gravett, Paul (March 11, 2007). "Aline Kominsky Crumb: Me and Mr Crumb". The Independent on Sunday Review. UK. Archived from the original on September 16, 2020 – via Paul Gravett official website.
- "'He always laughs at my jokes and is my best fan'", The Guardian, March 25, 2005. – Aline Kominsky-Crumb answers Guardian readers' questions.
- "The R. Crumb Handbook", The Leonard Lopate Show, April 13, 2005.
- "Aline Crumb" interview by Daniel Robert Epstein, SuicideGirls, November 29, 2006.
- "Loudmouth: Aline Kominsky-Crumb tells all", interview by Sara Ivry, Nextbook, February 5, 2007. (page links to MP3 audio file)
- "The Crumbs' Underground Comics", interview with Aline and Robert Crumb by Terry Gross, Fresh Air, February 13, 2007. (page links to streaming RealPlayer audio)
- Interview with Hillary Chute, The Believer, November/December 2009
- Kristen Schilt interviews Aline Kominsky-Crumb at "Comics: Philosophy & Practice" Conference, May 2012