Specialist publisher Taschen has just published an upmarket English edition of the Robert Crumb Sketchbooks – a special slipcase release priced at £650.
This six-book boxed set is based on the original hard-bound, slip-cased, seven-volume series released by the German publisher Zweitausendeins between 1981 and 1997 but, unlike that previous edition, which included every doodle ever made by the preeminent underground artist, the Taschen edition has been personally edited by the notoriously fastidious artist to include only what he considers his best work, reproduced directly from the original sketchbooks.
Each book in the set contains 224 pages, for a total of 1,344 pages of prime Crumb from the artist’s most prolific, early period, and includes a handwritten introduction, many pages of original colour works, and 50 redrawn images distinctly different from the original works.
Each set in this 1,000-copy limited edition also includes a signed, authenticated colour art print of a collectible Crumb original.
With Robert Crumb’s original art setting records at auction (the cover art for Mr. Natural #1 sold for $101,575 (£61,370) at the Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries in 2007), Taschen says this limited edition with signed print is sure to increase in value and be sought both as an investment by collectors.
I’d have to agree that it would make a stunning addition to any Crumb fan’s library. But only very rich ones…