CBR and other outlets report American underground cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb has passed away at her home in France on Tuesday, November 29, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 74 years old. The wife of Robert Crumb, and the mother of fellow cartoonist Sophie Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb was best known for her collaborations with her husband, and for being the co-creator of the long-running all-female anthology series “Twisted Sisters.”
Aline Goldsmith was born into a Jewish family in Long Island, New York, on August 1, 1948. Her father was a largely unsuccessful businessman and organized crime associate, and she turned to drugs and counterculture music as a teenager. When she was 20, she married Carl Kominsky, whom she relocated with to Arizona; while the marriage didn’t last long, she retained his surname. In the meantime, she studied art at the Cooper Union in New York, and the University of Arizona.
She relocated to San Francisco after being introduced to the underground comix scene in 1972. There, she met Robert Crumb, and joined the “Wimmen’s Comix” collective headed by Trina Robbins, contributing to the first few issues of their series when it launched that year. She and Diane Noomin had a falling out with Robbins and other members of the group over feminist issues, as well as her relationship with Crumb, and they started “Twisted Sisters” in 1976. Kominsky and Crumb married in 1978, and began collaborating on an autobiographical series about their daily life called “Dirty Laundry.”
Their daughter was born in 1981, and they moved to a village in France in 1991, citing frustration with conservative forces in the United States, as well as fear their daughter would grow up to become a “valley girl.” Kominsky-Crumb began concentrating on painting afterwards; a compendium of her comics, “Love That Bunch,” was published by Fantagraphics in 1990, while “Twisted Sisters” ended in 1994. She appeared in that year’s documentary about her husband, Crumb, and returned in 2007 with “Need More Love: A Graphic Memoir.”
Kominsky-Crumb had an open marriage, and is survived by her partner, French printmaker Christian Coudurès, and his daughter, Agathe McCamy (who collaborated with her on her comics), as well as her husband, daughter, and grandson Eli.