How Did the Arcade No.2 Serigraph Come to be?
Crumb's comments from the Certificate of Authenticity which accompanied the Arcade No.2 serigraph in 2005
This drawing was originally made in 1975 for the hopeful magazine venture Arcade, started by Bill Griffith and Art Spiegelman in an attempt to pull together the rapidly disintegrating "underground movement." They worked very hard to make Arcade a success, tried to give it a professional look, with a contents page and even page numbers. But after seven issues over a period of one and a half or two years, they threw in the towel.
They wanted me to do the covers thinking that would help sell it. I did five of the seven covers. Then a couple of years ago, I reworked this cover slightly, to be used on a French anthology of my work called R.Crumb's Amerika. I added some drawing to the top and bottom of the image to fit the more elongated proportions of the French cover. The alligator wearing the ball cap and shades at the bottom did not appear on the "original" Arcade cover. Plus, whenever I reuse old artwork done long ago, I can't resist the urge to do some technical upgrading, improving minor details, having learned a few things over the decades.