R. Crumb and Bigfoot

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 26th, 2007

FATE Magazine Bigfoot

Mark Frauenfelder recently posted at Boing Boing about the wonderful past era of beautiful art to be found on old covers of Fate.

Mark also mentioned a recent blog by David Pescovitz about the New York Times article “Mr. and Mrs. Natural,” and the author of that article contacted Mark to say two of Fate covers done in the last decade have been illustrated by the underground comics genius R. Crumb. Actually, it was three, two of which had Bigfoot themes and one was of an alien shown near a bed.

One of those covers – specifically because of Crumb’s art – has become apparently the most popular cover in Fate history. It is the Crumb Bigfoot cover shown at the top of this blog. I feel honored that my column, “Mysterious World: Bigfoot-like Creatures Roam the Eastern U.S.” appeared in the November 2000 issue of that Fate. Thus, as such things go, my column has been vaguely associated with and said to be partially responsible for R. Crumb’s artwork. It probably was just a coincidence, but it is one of those cool cosmic overlaps that I appreciate being part of, especially since I always liked his comix, like Zap.

FATE Magazine Bigfoot

The other Fate R. Crumb cover was of snowy Bigfoot-types in Russia. Intriguingly, it was also used to promote a Wisconsin Bigfoot novel from Galde Press (the current owners of Fate).

FATE Magazine Bigfoot

R. Crumb has been interested in Bigfoot for a long time, having penned the classic “Whiteman meets Bigfoot” in Home Grown Funnies, no. 1, back in 1971.

Anyone out there have any scans of R. Crumb’s 1971 comic art of Bigfoot?

As far as the popular cultural significance of R. Crumb, all you have to do, if you were part of the 1960s, is remember his images associated with Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat, Keep On Truckin’, and Janis Joplin’s Cheap Thrills album cover.

R. Crumb Big Brother & The Holding Company Cheap Thrills

Perhaps someday R. Crumb will even draw a Bigfoot exclusively for Cryptomundo.

Hey, unlike the The New York Times which has decided to print the word “hippy,” I spell “hippie” the way we used to in the 60s!

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

8 Responses to “R. Crumb and Bigfoot”

  1. kittenz responds:

    Oh yeah I agree: it’s “hippie” not “hippy”. “Hippie” is a laid-back Child of Nature. “Hippy” means you need to hit the gym.

  2. Ceroill responds:

    Loren, thanks a lot for sharing these with us! Great stuff, but then it’s R. Crumb, so of course it’s great! It’s not often we get to see his less cartoonish side, as in the second example. Here’s hoping he accepts your invitation!

  3. fuzzy responds:

    Re: R. Crumb’s old art ~ why not ask R. Crumb.


  4. dbard responds:

    Nice find Loren!

  5. SpaghettiYeti responds:

    In The R. Crumb Handbook, there’s a bit about the live stage adaptation of Whiteman Meets Bigfoot including artwork and a photo from the production. Apparently, before the Crumb documentary came about, director Terry Zwigoff and Crumb produced a script for a feature film version called “Sassy”- again, with some great artwork for that too.

    I’d never seen those covers before, they’re surprisingly recent too!

  6. sausage1 responds:

    Yep! HippIE it is. I know because I was the only 8 year old in junior school in London’s East End wearing a purple wool-crochet waistcoat and tie-dye T shirt at the age of 8.

    No bigfoot there, though.

  7. Mnynames responds:

    As the child of Hippies (My middle name is, in fact, Woodstock), I can recall finding a few stashes of his comics in the various places (Friend’s houses, communes, etc.) that we stayed in when I was quite little. I dare say they were decidely NOT age appropriate, which probably made them all the more interesting. Didn’t he do a comic called the Freak Brothers, about 3 sideshow freak-like Hippie brothers? It was either him or a good imitator.

    Wow. A likely crypto-influence I would never have considered.

  8. peterbernard responds:

    The name of the cartoon drawing style that Crumb copies is called the “bigfoot” style. It was popular in the 1930s, an era which he obsesses over, when racism was still cool, etc. Don’t ask me, it’s what he’s into. Anyway, this would explain why he was asked to draw bigfoot.

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