Widely regarded as the father of underground comics, the famously T & A-obsessed R. Crumb surprised many by deciding to take on the first book of the Bible, the Book of Genesis.
How to reconcile the sacred with the profane? The Book of Genesis Illustrated, which contains all 50 chapters, comes with a warning: "Adult Supervision Recommended For Minors." And it's not because R. Crumb changes or adds words to the original, but rather because his art graphically depicts what he calls the the Book of Genesis's inherent violence:
"[It's about] ruling elites, victimizing people in sadistic ways, which is human beings at their nastiest. They have power over others, and they derive pleasure from inflecting pain on other humans. That's about as nasty as people get."
Crumb's French publisher, Jean-Luc Fromental, thought Crumb might be able to achieve an interpretation of Genesis only through "blasphemy." Now? He thinks that he was trying to "[r]eread the whole text from a humanistic point of view . . ."
In a press conference for The Book of Genesis Illustrated, Crumb said that although he "seeks knowledge" of God and believes that there is a force ruling us, we can't ever truly understand it. As for regarding the Bible as a sacred truth? He thinks it's crazy, adding, "But the human race is crazy if nothing else." (If you're interested in R. Crumb, check out the amazing documentary about him and his crazy family, titled, simply enough, Crumb.)