Iconic American cartoonist (born 1943) who created the classic underground ‘comix’ Zap and Snatch, featuring the overtly sexual escapades of Mr. Natural, the grotesquely voluptuous Angelfood McSpade, and many others. Autograph letter, twelve pages on three sets of adjoining sheets, 5.5 x 8.5, August 6, 1961. Letter to his best friend, and future brother-in-law, Marty [Pahls]. In part: “I’ve been attending these art classes three times a week drawing, painting, and sculpturing…The two-man comics seem to be getting harder and harder to do…Do you think the staff of ‘The Obese Toad’ would want any if the comic strips that I did in the ‘Arcade’?…This comic strip bit is fairly new with me. Only been doing it for a few months…Some of the strips were inspired by things I saw and heard in school. The one of the boy and girl ‘grappling,’ the one of the ‘motor-cycle type’ giving advice on girls this happened to me personally…Famous Artist’s scout didn’t pay much attention to our work. He looked it over and then immediately started in on his sales talk. Make your art a tool for industry and make big money was about what he was driving at. Christ, who wants to get into that rat-race?…But then, art is the only thing I can do for a living besides selling neckties on a street-corner. What a rotten situation. I’ll probably end up drawing what big business wants me to draw, making my big money and—no, I have not the ambition for that life. I dunno.”
On page 6 is a drawing of his cat, the star of his first stories, Fred the Cat, eventually renamed Fritz the Cat. A word bubble to Fred’s right calls out “HEY, OL’ CAT!” Next to the drawing, Crumb writes, “The ‘Ol’ Cat’ on that last cover was taken from a photo of our ‘Ol Cat’ who deserted us when we moved. Yes. Now that I think of it, that cover did look something like Tenniel’s Cheshire Cat.” In fine condition, with some scattered light toning and soiling. An early and extremely lengthy letter as Crumb tentatively begins his cartoon career. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.