One thing that can lead to developing some sort of neurosis is a constant "broken household" that does the complete opposite of nurture creativity. From personal experience, while living in a strict, military household, stepping outside the line and developing new ideas and ways of thinking is not always a good thing. One is pressured into the book. This means two things. Children are pressured into a general book of rules that can include: a relentless and tight schedule, impeccable cleanliness, following direct orders, and above all, demonstrating a profound respect for superiors. The other book that children in the army have to live their lives by, of course, is the bible. While public school may be tolerated in a more "lax" army society (as was in my case), strict studying of the bible and its lessons happened every Sunday...all day. With Crumb's strict military lifestyle coupled with a mother's drug problems could certainly lead to a need to break free from a life of perfectly made beds and suppressed thinking that some level of neurosis can eventually develop.
Another aspect of Robert Crumb's childhood aside from the strict upbringing and the eventual usage of LSD that can cause neurosis which can later be seen in his works is the abuse. As a form of suppression and keeping people in line, members of the military can use verbal abuse to make sure that orders are strictly followed. The verbal and physical abuse that Crumb experienced and witnessed as a child is certainly not something that lends to maintaining a good outlook on life and sanity in general. This is yet another way that Crumb's creativity and artistic abilities were never allowed to grow and flourish as a child. I wanted to be an art major, but my father told me that, "drawing pictures for a living is for hippies" and he would not pay for an education that would "eventually lead to me doing drugs and eventually dropping out of school anyway". Seeing as how Crumb's father was just about as nurturing as mine, it is easy to see how and why he rebelled and went the direction that he did.
The Book of Genesis is a production of Crumb's fractured home life. The illustrations throughout the book definitely lend to a life of suppression and abuse. Interpreting the bible in a visibly violent manner is a demonstration of how Crumb feels that although he grew up learning Catholicism and its lessons, they did not protect them like they promised. God is often portrayed as a father figure, and men and women are His children. The Old Testament is the part of the bible that shows God's authority over humanity and His vengeance against sinners. God's punishments throughout Genesis could possibly be construed as a father punishing his children. This is something that Crumb and his siblings are no strangers to. Many of the images of man in this book depicts them as downtrodden and defeated after God has dealt with them. This could be paralleled to the constant defeat Crumb felt whilst living with an unsupportive family during the years he was growing and developing.
The images and the interpretation of the lord's text in Crumb's Book of Genesis is a direct result of the treatment from his mother and father during his childhood. While many signs point to having developed a slight neurosis over the years from not only his upbringing, but his later experience with drugs and alcohol, this work from Crumb is definitely a protest to an early life of suppression and strict rules. With the lessons of the bible failing to comfort a young Crumb, a visual interpretation is an easy way to rebel from the years of Catholic school where he was treated as an outcast and gained nothing. While I may not have had a physically abusive childhood, and my mother is mentally sound, I can definitely relate to Crumb and his early life. My older sister and I managed to avoid a life of drugs and becoming a "god-forsaken" hippy, as our parents so eloquently put, but we managed to rebel in our own subtle ways. As every military child who never got to nurture their dreams at a young age would agree, and as Crumb certainly experienced, you may go a little crazy, but you eventually find a way to stick it to your parents.