POSTED: 17 DECEMBER 2004 - 8:00pm HST

Cover of New Yorker tells
story about native people

The New Yorker magazine cover for November 29th, 2004

by Robert Crumb in New Yorker Magazine 2004 Thanksgiving Special
Scroll to the bottom of article if you just want dessert for dinner.

The New Yorker magazine has been doing great cover art since the Depression. Some is amusing but some are poignant as well. The November 29, 2004 issue finally arrived today and the artwork floored me. It was by R Crumb, the 60's and 70's underground cartoonist. Yes he is still working and still great. He lives in southern France now. If you don't remember him or are too young to know, Crumb was the artist who did the cover of Janis Joplin's famous live album with Big Brother and the Holding Company titled "Cheap Thrills"

This cover art was 12"x12" (the size of a LP record jacket) and adorned many a hippy's dresser or coffee table. R Crumb was founder of ZAP! Comics and was the creator of "Fritz the Cat" which became an X rated a full length cartoon movie. The underlying story was actually about an NYU student living in Greenwich Village discovering life. The first review in the International Movie Database ( says of it;

For an X-rated animated comedy, "Fritz the Cat" is funny and tackles various issues during the 60's-70's era. Racism, politics, education, sex, drugs, and rock-n'-roll are dealt with in offbeat and crude ways. I have to disagree with some people who don't like this movie. I really found "Fritz the Cat" funny. At least it's better than Ralph Bakshi's "Cool World." My evaluation: *** out of ****.

Crumb also created Mr. Natural and the "Keep on Truckin" images you see to this day on tee-shirts and coffee mugs. If you still don't know who I'm talking about check out

There was an excellent documentary movie about Crumb titled simply "Crumb" in 1994. Rent it and enjoy. The first review in the International Movie Database ( says of it;

If you're looking for a bizarre, yet somehow touching film with characters that are beyond description, then you've just got to rent this movie. And even if that doesn't sound good, watch it anyway. "Crumb" has it all...and is all the more amazing when you consider that these people are REAL. The artwork is spectacular, the revelations are stunning, the laughs are almost non-stop, and there's really nothing that I can point to in this film that is anything less than terrific. It's one of the best documentaries ever, and an outstanding movie, period.

Anyway, the New Yorker cover struck me because Manhattan was named after the native American indians that inhabited it. Manhattan is a wonderful place but it is so far from nature as to be mind-boggling. The idea of depicting what a Manhattan indian would be doing today in NYC at Thanksgiving time is the subject of Crumb's work. Read it and weep.

If you want to know what Crumb looks like today, he's the gy all the way on the right on the New Yorker cover. And if you want to know what is written on the sandwich-board the indian is carrying read on:


Country Kitchen
8th Ave at 21st St
Real Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Special $29.00

with choice of
Couscous or
Chestnut-Truffle Stuffing

Salt-Free Meatless Turkey
& Lo-Carb Stuffing


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