Running jaunty, gucharmap does not crash for me, but this is not the tool you realy want anyways. it's not a font previewer, it's a a tool to help copy and paste special characters into a text area. It only knows about unicode, not all the font's that may be installed on your system.
Have you tried xfontsel? Not the friendliest UI, but it's been around forever - even uses the old athena widget set.
xfontsel -pattern '-misc-fixed-*
the strings just above the font are the components of the X Logical Font Description (XLFD) full name for a font.
This will let you preview the font, but other than decoding the XLFD, you don't get all the unicode info etc that you would with gucharmap.