Caricature Or, Guston’s Graphic Novel

The ongoing visual gag of the book, especially as Philip Guston finds his groove and really gets going, is Richard Nixon-as-dick, or Tricky Dick with chin as hairy scrotum and nose-dong—sometimes priapic, sometimes flaccid—though Nixon’s earliest appearances are almost certainly internalizations of Robert Crumb’s Flakey Foont, a sort of everyman character blindly shuttered by American lies and ambitions until his enlightened old Squirrel Cage pal Mr. Natural blows his mind with the cosmic truths, or at least tries to.

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