Underground comic artist Robert Crumb has recently joined the ranks of the perennial heretics known as the Gnostics. According to an Agence France-Presse report, Crumb admitted he was a Gnostic during a press conference for the international launch of ‘The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb’. This announcement, along with his new book, reveals for the first time the theological leanings of an important cult figure. Crumb is best known for his ‘Fritz the Cat’ and ‘American Splendor’ comics.
“The Bible is not the word of God. It’s the words of men,” he said at the press conference in Paris. “I take it all as myth from start to finish.” This attitude was echoed by the ancient Gnostics, who saw Holy Scripture as a tool of dominance from oppressive religious institutions and embraced mythology as a vehicle for spiritual liberation.
A couple people have expressed skepticism about Crumb’s Gnosticism based on the article linked, and the article that article cites. Here is an interview with Crumb in Vanity Fair where he says very clearly that he is a Gnostic:
I would call myself a Gnostic. Which means, I’m interested in pursuing and understanding the spiritual nature of things. A Gnostic is somebody seeking knowledge of that aspect of reality. That’s more of an Eastern idea, like Buddhism.
More light is shed on his spiritual beliefs in this interview.