Aline Kominsky-Crumb, who with her husband, Robert Crumb, was a fixture of the underground comics scene of the late 20th century, has died at 74, Forbes reports.
Kominsky-Crumb, a Long Island native, studied art at the Cooper Union and the University of Arizona. It was in Tucson that she first became interested in the underground comics scene, and she later moved to San Francisco, where the movement was extremely popular among countercultural youth. She and cartoonist Diane Noomin edited a series of comic anthologies titled Twisted Sisters.
She met Robert Crumb in 1972, and the couple married six years later. They collaborated on a series of comics called Aline & Bob’s Dirty Laundry; Kominsky-Crumb would go on to edit the comics anthology Weirdo, which Robert Crumb had created in 1981. In 2012, Kominsky-Crumb and Crumb published Drawn Together, an anthology that collects their collaborative work dating back to the 1970s.
The couple’s daughter, Sophie Crumb, is also a cartoonist; her autobiographical art book, Sophie Crumb: Evolution of a Crazy Artist, was edited by her parents and published in 2010.
Kominsky-Crumb’s admirers paid tribute to her on social media. On Twitter, journalist Anna Merlan wrote, “So deeply sad to hear about the death of Aline Kominsky Crumb. Cannot describe how mind-bending it was to see a Jewish woman drawing herself in such a hyperreal, fearless, hilarious, frank way. May her memory be a blessing.”
And cartoonist Summer Pierre tweeted, “I did not anticipate ever living in a world without Aline Kominsky-Crumb—she was that elemental. She was the Godmother of comics. No one will ever match her guts, her raw honesty & humor. Comics needed her. I needed her.”
I did not anticipate ever living in a world without Aline Kominsky-Crumb—she was that elemental. She was the Godmother of comics. No one will ever match her guts, her raw honesty & humor. Comics needed her. I needed her. They broke the mold when they made The Bunch.— Summer Pierre (@summerpierre) November 30, 2022
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.