Adam Tschorn over at the LA Times has posted a preview of the upcoming "collaboration" between Vans and R. Crumb.
Four different Crumb shoes are due to hit store shelves on Oct. 1; two in the Vans Classics collections -- including the Mr. Natural deconstructed SK8-Hi pictured above ($60) and a classic slip-on featuring Fritz the Cat ($52) -- will be available through regular Vans vendors.
In addition, Crumb is also working on two additional higher-end styles (using suede and leather) to be sold through Vans Vault accounts. According to reports, they feature a "Modern America" Chukka boot ($95) and a "Keep on Truckin'" Authentic ($90).
It's a oddly commercial move for an artist that gained fame for working outside the mainstream comic book industry. I agree with Tom Spurgeon on this, who lamented that this "pseudo-news item about someone's product with the great cartoonist at its center" hit him wrong.
Especially when Mr. Natural, who's featured in the shoe above, renounced the material world and decided to become a worldly guru, taking what he could get in exchange for spouting off improvised spirituality.
Wait, that might be oddly appropriate.