Cinema: An X Cartoon

FRITZ THE CAT

Written and directed by RALPH BAKSHI

Robert Crumb is a kind of American Hogarth, a moralist with a blown mind. The gallery he has created in underground comic books—from the gnomic sage Mr. Natural, the Priapus of the Midwest, through such creatures as Angelfood McSpade to that morsel of 13-year-old jailbait, Honeybunch Kaminski—constitutes Head City's sharpest and funniest view of American life. And perhaps the most pornographic. His fantasy unchecked by the strictures of mass circulation, Crumb gave back to cartooning the scatological vigor and erotic exuberance it had during the Regency, and then some.

The kind of animated cartoon Ralph...

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