The Complete Crumb Comics

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Complete Crumb Comics
Cover to Volume 3 of The Complete Crumb Comics
Publication information
PublisherFantagraphics Books
GenreUnderground comix
Publication date1987 – 2005
No. of issues17
Creative team
Created byRobert Crumb

The Complete Crumb Comics is an award-winning series of collections from Fantagraphics Books which was intended to reproduce the entire body of American cartoonist and comic book artist/writer Robert Crumb's comics work in chronological order, beginning with his fanzine work from as early as 1958.

While the series was intended to be complete, there is some material missing (most notably The Yum Yum Book, the copyright of which is owned by Crumb's ex-wife Dana,[1] but which has otherwise been in print as Big Yum Yum Book: the Story of Oggie and the Beanstalk).

Its publication is considered to have brought more serious attention to Crumb's oeuvre, and was one of the earliest attempts to collect a cartoonist's full body of work.[2] The series lasted 17 volumes and was published up until 2005 (covering Crumb's work up to 1992). After this, Crumb's work was to be collected in individually titled collections, and not be part of the official numbered series.[note 1]


All volumes have been published at some point in both softcover and hardcover editions. Two box sets have also been produced, collected Volumes #1-5 and #6-10, with a slip case and signed plate, limited to 400 sets each.

The first two volumes contain material going back as far as Crumb's teenage years, from before he had had his comics professionally published. Some consider this material to be non-essential, and that it would be better for a newcomer to start with later volumes.[note 2][note 3]

List of Volumes
Vol Year Title Period ISBN Notes
1 Oct 1987 The Early Years of Bitter Struggle 1958–1962 ISBN 0-930193-42-3 Introduction by Marty Pahls
Expanded in 2012[2]
2 May 1988 Some More Early Years of Bitter Struggle 1959–1964 ISBN 978-0-930193-62-1 Introduction by Marty Pahls
3 1988 Starring Fritz the Cat 1960-1966 ISBN 0-930193-79-2 1989 Harvey Award for Best Domestic Reprint Project[3]
Introduction by Marty Pahls
4 Dec 1988 Mr. Sixties! 1966–1967 ISBN 978-0-930193-79-9 Reproduces Zap Comix #0 and #1, as well as Crumb's contributions to the underground newspaper Yarrowstalks
5 1990 Happy Hippy Comix 1967–1969 ISBN 0-930193-92-X Reprints stories from East Village Other (1967-1968), Zap #2-3 (1968), Bijou Funnies #1 (1968), Motor City Comics # 1 (1969), and other publications (1968-1969)
6 1990 On the Crest of a Wave 1969–1970 ISBN 1-56097-057-X Reprints stories from Big Ass #1, Zap #4, Snatch #3, Jiz #1, Despair, and Motor City #2. Also includes 16-page color section (with covers from Gothic Blimp Works)
1991 Harvey Award for Best Domestic Reprint Project[4]
Includes the notoriously X-rated Joe Blow
7 1991 Hot 'n' Heavy 1970–1971 ISBN 978-1-56097-061-3 1992 Harvey Award for Best Domestic Reprint Project[5]
8 1992 Featuring the Death of Fritz the Cat 1971–1972 ISBN 1-56097-076-6
9 1992 R. Crumb versus the Sisterhood 1972–1973 ISBN 978-1-56097-107-8 Introduction by Crumb
Features work from XYZ Comics Zap #6, Tales from the Leather Nun, and others; as well as collaborations with Harvey Pekar, and illustrations from the 1972 cookbook Eat It, written by Crumb's ex-wife Dana.
10 1994 Crumb Advocates Violent Overthrow 1973–1975 ISBN 1-56097-138-X 1995 Harvey Award for Best Domestic Reprint Project[6]
11 1995 MR. NATURAL COMMITTED TO A MENTAL INSTITUTION!!! 1975–1977 ISBN 978-1-56097-172-6 1996 Eisner Award for Best Archival Collection;[7] 1996 Harvey Award for Best Domestic Reprint Project[8]
12 1996 We're Livin' in the "Lap o' Luxury"! 1976–1979 ISBN 978-1-56097-264-8
13 1998 The Season of the Snoid 1976–1980 ISBN 978-1-56097-296-9
14 2001 The Early 1980s and Weirdo Magazine c. 1981–1983 ISBN 978-1-56097-413-0 earliest Weirdo comics
15 2001 Featuring Mode O'Day and her Pals 1983–1985 ISBN 978-1-56097-413-0 Introduction by Peter Bagge
16 2002 The Mid-1980s: More Years of Valiant Struggle 1985–1987 ISBN 1-56097-460-5
17 2005 Cave Wimp, Mode O'Day, Aline 'N' Bob, R. Crumb Goes to the Academy Awards 1988–1992 ISBN 1-56097-537-7


Year Organization Volume Award
1989 Harvey Awards 3 Best Domestic Reprint Project
1991 6
1992 7
1995 10
1996 Eisner Awards 11 Best Archival Collection
1997 Harvey Awards 12 Best Domestic Reprint Project


  1. ^ Volume 17 of "The Complete Crumb Comics", which will be the final volume in the numbered series of compilations. Subsequent volumes will be individually titled collections of various bodies of work, such as "Hup" and "Mystic Funnies."
  2. ^ "Avoid the first two volumes of Complete Crumb consist of early work from his teen-age years and early '20s, and thus are for serious fans who want to see how far he's progressed. It's awkward, juvenile material . . . and really not the place for neophytes to start. Wait until you get a feel for his later work and personality before diving into these books."
    Mautner, Chris (2009-12-21). "Comics College: Robert Crumb". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  3. ^ ". . . a good starting point would probably be somewhere in the middle of the Complete Crumb volumes. Why the middle? Well, this is a thorough synopsis of his career, and the first couple of volumes are kind of short on comics, focusing more on his illustration work with Hallmark and some other various things."
    whitey (2004-12-28). "Crumb, Robert". Optical Sloth. Retrieved 2011-04-19.


  1. ^ Pahls, Marty. Introduction to The Complete Crumb Comics Vol 2. Fantagraphics Books 1988. ISBN 978-0-930193-62-1
  2. ^ a b Heer, Jeet (2012-03-05). "Crumb in the Beginning". The Comics Journal. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  3. ^ "1989 Harvey Award Winners". Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  4. ^ "1991 Harvey Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  5. ^ "1992 Harvey Award Winners". Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  6. ^ "1995 Harvey Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  7. ^ "Complete List of Eisner Award Winners". San Diego Comic-Con International. Archived from the original on 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  8. ^ "1996 Harvey Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2016-03-15. Retrieved 2011-04-19.

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