August 1, 1948
Long Beach, New York, U.S.
|Area(s)||Cartoonist, Writer, Penciller, Artist, Inker|
Dirty Laundry Comics
Aline Kominsky-Crumb (née Goldsmith; born August 1, 1948) is an American underground comics artist. Kominsky-Crumb's work, which is almost exclusively autobiographical, is known for its unvarnished, confessional nature. In 2016, Comics Alliance listed Kominsky-Crumb as one of twelve women cartoonists deserving of lifetime achievement recognition. She is married to cartoonist Robert Crumb, with whom she has frequently collaborated. Their daughter, Sophie Crumb, is also a cartoonist.
Aline Goldsmith was born to a Jewish family in the Five Towns area of Long Island, New York. Her father was a largely unsuccessful businessman and organized crime associate. As a teenager, she turned to drugs and the counterculture, and was a hanger-on to New York countercultural musicians such as The Fugs. Relocating to East Village during her college years, she began studying art at The Cooper Union.
In 1968, Aline married Carl Kominsky, with whom she relocated to Tucson, Arizona. Their marriage did not last long. However, she retained the surname Kominsky after their split. During this time, she attended University of Arizona, graduating with a BFA in 1971.
Aline was introduced to underground cartoonists Spain Rodriguez and Kim Deitch by former Fugs drummer Ken Weaver, who was living in Tucson at the same time. Rodriguez and Deitch introduced her to underground comix, inspiring her to begin making underground comics herself and to relocate to San Francisco.
In 1972, soon after arriving in San Francisco, Aline was introduced to Robert Crumb by mutual friends, who had noted an uncanny resemblance between her and the coincidentally-named Crumb character Honeybunch Kaminski (who had been created in 1970). Their relationship soon became serious, and they began living together.
She also fell in with the Wimmen's Comix collective, and contributed to the first few issues of that series. After she and Diane Noomin had a falling out with Trina Robbins and other members of the collective, they started their own title, Twisted Sisters. Kominsky-Crumb later claimed that a large part of her break with the Wimmen's Comix group was over feminist issues and particularly over her relationship with Robert Crumb, whom Robbins particularly disliked.
Aline married Crumb in 1978. Their daughter Sophie was born in 1981. Since the late 1970s, Aline and Robert have produced a series of collaborative comics called Dirty Laundry (also known as Aline & Bob's Dirty Laundry), a comic about the Crumb family life. They both drew their own characters for the comic. Around this time, Kominsky-Crumb began calling her comics avatar "The Bunch," a reference to the similarly named Crumb character. Later installments of Dirty Laundry feature contributions by Sophie, who also began producing comics in her teens.
For several years during the 1980s, Kominsky-Crumb was editor of Weirdo, a leading alternative comics anthology of the time, taking over editorship from Peter Bagge, who previously taken over from original editor Robert Crumb. Her editorial reign was known as "Twisted Sisters", reviving that title.
Since 1991, Robert and Aline have lived as expatriates in a small French village in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Aline had long been an avowed Francophile, while Robert had become especially disgusted with American culture. They also believed it would be a better environment for their daughter.
Kominsky-Crumb was featured in a number of scenes in Crumb, the 1994 documentary about the Crumb family.
Aline and Robert have an open marriage, and Aline's "second husband", French printmaker Christian Coudurès, lives with the family (as does his daughter, Agathe McCamy, who assists Aline in coloring her comics).
In addition to her comics work, Kominsky-Crumb is a painter. Since moving to France, she has focused more on painting and less on producing comics. In February 2007 she released a memoir entitled Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir, a collection of her comics and paintings, along with photographs and autobiographical writings.
In 2018, Kominsky-Crumb's Love That Bunch which was originally published in 1990 was expanded by Drawn and Quarterly with new comics and an introduction written by Hillary Chute.