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big ass 2 1st
excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 9
Big Ass Comics #2
1st Printing / September, 1971 / 28 Pages / Rip Off Press
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Big Ass Comics #2 follows in the enormously successful footsteps of #1 and it's almost as good, but not quite. The Eggs Ackley adventure here is just a bit below the one that came before, and it's followed by a couple stories devoted to Crumb's obsession with big asses (the comic's title is not misleading). No matter how I try, and I don't try very hard, I just can't get into the same fetishes as Robert's into.

Outside of the big-ass fetish readers, the best strip here Crumb's notorious one-page free-speech rant, "A Word To You Feminist Women." After getting lambasted for his sexism and violence against women in the first issue of Big Ass (and the other shit he's drawn in the past), Crumb welcomes his female readers into his home to let them know, "I'm all for women's lib, believe it or not!" But then he begins to defend his right to draw whatever the hell he wants to draw: " insist that an artist stifle his (or her) instincts and draw only that which is prescribed by some movement or cause...why, that's pure totalitarianism! Dictatorship! And sheer stupidity to boot!"

Crumb's vitriol only deepens as his tirade continues, declaring he is an artist and not a politician, and that he would only become a liar if he tried to appease anyone else's ideology. He concludes his rant with a few choice words for those who would deny him his right to freedom of expression. In one page, Crumb deftly summarizes a key rationale for all those who defend his right to unleash whatever demons he wants to portray with ink on paper.

Is it possible to take that too far? I think so, but it would require the photographic rendering of a child being tortured, raped and dismembered, or something equally evil. But Crumb has never done something like that and just about everything he has done has reflected some usually hidden aspect of the male psyche, and usually with a wry sense of humor.

For "A Word To You Feminist Women" alone, I boosted the overall review score of Big Ass Comics #2 to a 9. That single page is worthy of framing on any artist's wall to remind themselves that they too should express whatever it is they feel like expressing without regard to other people's judgment. Of course, they may never get that stuff displayed, sold or published, but at least they won't be mindless puppets of the establishment.

There are eight printings of this comic book, the first six by Rip Off Press, and it is currently unknown how many copies were produced during any of the printings. The first three printings of the comic book all had 50-cent cover prices. The 1st printing has a glossy cover stock. The 2nd printing has a matt cover stock. The 3rd printing states "Copyright 1971" on the inside front cover, which is not stated on either of the first two printings. The 4th printing has a 75-cent cover price. The 5th printing also has a 75-cent cover price, but states "Produced by Keith Green" on the inside front cover. The 6th printing has a $1.00 cover price. The 7th printing (the first Last Gasp printing) has a $2.50 cover price. The 8th printing has a $3.95 cover price.
Robert Crumb - 1-28
big ass 2 2nd spacer10 big ass 2 3rd spacer10 big ass 2 7th
2nd Printing
50-cent cover, matt cover stock.
3rd Printing
50-cent cover, copyright notice on IFC.
7th Printing
$2.50 cover.