23 April 2009

R Crumb's Short History of America

























And Crumb asks "what next?.." Well we have had 30 years of development since this was drawn, and I think the 13th panel of the above intersection would show larger cars and maybe some vacant stores. And the shame of it is that a few miles further out of town, they may still be on panel #10 or 11, headed down the same path.

A year after publishing the above series, Crumb added the following three scenarios:

Disaster:


Futurama:


Ecotopia:


In reality, we have gotten a bit of all three of these final panels. Some cities (or parts of cities) look more like the Disaster panel, and after the disinvestment and abandonment, the final two are often tried as solutions. I would equate the Futurama panel to grand Urban Renewal plans in which everything is demolished and new modern buildings are built. The Ecotopia is closer to a Hippie version of the New Urbanist model, with all the walking and biking, though much more rural. I was thinking that someone should draw a more realistic and optimistic new panel. What would it look like?

Crumb Family Official Site Go there to buy a poster of this.

3 comments:

Mark Miller said...

I thought that intersection seemed familiar...
Click Here...it's a little busy, but still quite a nice place, and the property values are strong. Perhaps our future is as bleak or rosy as we choose to make it.

CityKin said...

^ you need to get over to the westside of town sometime if you want to see this in real life.

Quim said...

wow
That Wasson pic does kinda look like the Crumb town.
That area from the HP Plaza to Rookwood has changed a lot in about 20 years.