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Crumb withdraws from art festival after paper calls him a sex-pervert

Robert Crumb was supposed to be the headlining appearance at the Graphic arts festival in Sydney, but the cartoonist has opted to not go after The Sunday Telegraph described him as a “self-confessed sex pervert” and a “very warped human being.”

The newspaper’s story on July 31 featured the headline “Cult genius or filthy weirdo”. In it, anti-child abuse campaigner Hetty Johnston described Crumb’s work as “crude and perverted images emanating from what is clearly a sick mind”.

“It was strong stuff and it made me look very, very bad,” Crumb said. “All it takes is a few people who overreact to something like that to show up and cause unpleasantness. I have a lot of anxiety about having to confront some angry sexual assault crisis group.”

Community Comments

#1 Tom Heintjes
August/9/2011
@ 7:09 am

Sounds about right for a Murdoch-owned paper. What a shame they ran Crumb off–one of the true giants.

#2 Jason Chatfield
August/9/2011
@ 7:37 am

A real shame. Many, many Australians were looking forward to seeing him next weekend.

Way to go, News ltd.

#3 rodd perry
August/9/2011
@ 8:56 am

It wouldn’t have taken much to convince him not to take that plane trip. What a relief.

#4 donna lewis
August/9/2011
@ 11:34 am

Some of my best friends are in the ?self-confessed sex pervert? category. I believe it’s a protected class, at least domestically.

#5 Gerry Mooney
August/9/2011
@ 1:24 pm

It’s Australia’s loss.

#6 Phil Judd
August/9/2011
@ 1:33 pm

I read that article and thought it was pretty biased and strong…I have read his stuff since discovering it in the late seventies as a 9 year old…yes some of it is pretty gross and on the edge of morality…but so is alot of other stuff out there…his current stuff id nothing like that…plus he is a very good artist and is a part of Underground comic history…I don’t think the protest would have been that big or bad but who can blame him for not wanting to face it…that’s why he headed for France to escape the criticism…bummer for the festival though as he was their big name…the result of typical no fact reporting by num brains who haven’t investigated it beyond staring at their computer for an hysterical byline…

#7 Anton Emdin
August/9/2011
@ 5:30 pm

I’m one of those disappointed Aussies, but it doesn’t surprise me that he pulled out.

#8 Robyn Brice
August/9/2011
@ 9:23 pm

Nice to see that a true comic book icon like Robert Crumb has decided to cancel his trip because of small minded ignorance. But then again it is a Murdoch owned paper so what else can we expect.

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