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despair 1st
excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3total score 8
1st Printing / 1969 / 28 pages / The Print Mint
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Despair is Robert Crumb's first existential diatribe about the perils and shittiness of modern life in America. Most of the stories are deceptively clever and provide some classic Crumb, including "It's The Ruff Tuff Creampuff" and "Fuzzy The Bunny in The Same Old Crap." However, the lead story, "It's Really Too Bad," jettisons the cleverness and just mainlines Crumb's bitter perspective about American life.

Despair is certainly one of Robert Crumb's most popular one-offs, evidenced by seven printings in about seven years. It's also got one of the most enduring, effective comic covers in history. "Why bother?" indeed. Truly a mantra for the modern age.

There are at least seven printings of Despair, the first six of which were produced by the Print Mint. Last Gasp printed the 7th edition. The first four printings have 50-cent cover prices. The 1st printing does not include a copyright statement anywhere in the comic book. The 2nd through 4th printings contain a brief copyright statement on the inside front cover, and these printings are considered to be indistinguishable from each other. The 5th printing has a 60-cent cover price. The 6th printing has a 75-cent cover price. The 7th printing is by Last Gasp and has a $1.50 cover price (still seeking confirmation of any edition with a $1.00 cover price).

Robert Crumb - 1-28
despair 2nd spacer10 despair 5th
2nd-4th Printings
50-cent cover, not
5th Printing
60-cent cover.