Robert Crumb, the alt-comic writer with a piggyback fetish, has always been ahead of his time. That’s what made his comics–usually featuring giant Amazonian women with humungous thighs as a chronic masturbatory fantasy– so transgressive to begin with.
But for all his former subversiveness, Mr. Crumb is pretty mainstream nowadays. Maybe not New Yorker mainstream though: Vice magazine unearthed a 2009 drawing from the cartoonist that was rejected by David Remnick‘s magazine. Though an answer was never given on why the cover wasn’t run, Mr. Crumb suspects it was because the New Yorker was too afraid of offending people with the image of a (possible?) drag queen and a twee person of unidentifiable sex trying talking to a sweating official from the marriage license bureau, with a sign pointing to a “Genders Inspection” office next to his window.
Since Mr. Crumb has drawn for the New Yorker before (though now refuses to), we doubt that it was the cartoon’s scandalous nature that led to it getting the axe. The magazine just never ran a gay marriage cover drawing in 2009. If Mr. Crumb had submitted it this year, when gay marriage was actually passed in New York and the New Yorker featured a cartoon of two women walking down the isle, it very well may have passed the P.C. test.