The evolution of a cartoonist

What makes a cartoonist? Or any kind of artist? How much of a person’s skill is down to “natural talent”, if there is such a thing, to the environment they grew up in, or to hard work?

Cartoons by Sophie Crumb

Such issues arise from the book Sophie Crumb: Evolution of a Crazy Artist. Sophie is the daughter of Robert Crumb, the godfather of American underground comics, and the book traces her development as an artist from the age of 2 to 29.

Crumb and his wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, who is also a cartoonist and has collaborated with her husband, have kept their daughter’s best drawings since she was a child and have now collected them in this book.

“How much is nature, how much is nurture? Would I draw if I was adopted into another family? I don’t know.” – Sophie Crumb.

Of course, you could argue that such a book would not have been published if it were not for Sophie’s famous surname, but nevertheless it provides a unique snapshot of a lifetime of development. And as you can see from Sophie’s Crumb’s blog, she’s not too shabby at drawing.

You can read more of her thoughts on this in an interview at And there’s a review here.

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