By JOCELYN NOVECK
Aline Kominsky-Crumb, an American cartoonist known for her feminist themes and often brutally frank, highly personal and self-critical work, has died at the age of 74.
Kominsky-Crumb, who was a close collaborator of her cartoonist husband, Robert Crumb, died of cancer Tuesday at their longtime home in France, said Alexander Wood, manager of the website that sells Crumb’s work.
“She was the hub of the wheel within her family and community,” the website noted in announcing her death. “She had a huge amount of energy which she poured into her artwork, her daughter, her grandchildren and the meals which brought everyone together. “
Kominsky-Crumb was known for work that was not only autobiographical but often bracingly sexual — focusing on her insecurities — and explicit. Or just raunchy. An early cover of the“Twisted Sisters” anthology — on which she collaborated with cartoonist Diane Noomin during her early years in the Bay Area — depicted her sitting on the toilet, wondering how many calories there were in a cheese enchilada.
“She has something in common with Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, women who are trying to grapple with their identities in a way that is not prettified,” Art Spiegelman, author of “Maus,” said of her in a 2018 article in The New York Times. “They are just trying to live and breathe as women with all their contradictions. And it’s a liberated and liberating way of looking at oneself.”
Kominsky-Crumb was born on Long Island, in the suburb of Five Towns. She studied art in her college years at The Cooper Union in Manhattan, and later relocated to Arizona, earning a bachelor’s in fine arts at the University of Arizona.
She met Crumb — often known as R. Crumb — in the early 1970s in San Francisco, where she became part of an underground comics movement. There, she was part of the all-female Wimmen’s Comix collective before breaking with the group and starting “Twisted Sisters” with Noomin, who died in September.
With Crumb, whom she married in 1978, she produced a series of comics called “Aline and Bob’s Dirty Laundry” about their family. They had a daughter, Sophie, who is also a comics artist. In the early 1990s, the family moved to France, settling in a medieval village in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. A documentary about their life, “Crumb,” was released in 1994.
Kominsky-Crumb published a graphic memoir, “Need More Love,” in 2007, a collection of her artwork over four decades, and “Love That Bunch” was published in 2018.
AP National Writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report from New York.
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