Monday, August 21, 2006
I really liked this breezy autobiography, interspersed at times with thematically appropriate clips from Crumb's work, and with samples of artists who influenced him, including comics by his brother Charles. Even when he's obviously merchandised himself to the limit, Crumb comes across as humble and amazed by his success. How many autobiographies are morbidly self-effacing? There's a drawing late in the book--an appalling self-caricature of despondent, grotesque Crumb--and the thought bubble says only "I just can't understand why they don't see my great genius." I find this brutal honesty refreshing and hilarious, and a bit of media critique and Terrance McKenna mixed in don't hurt (Crumb is apparently into meditation and the inner journey now, like many of his generation). I enjoyed the drawings featuring Crumb's intriguing ass-thetic. Oh, and there's a CD of Crumb with his various old-timey bands that has several very good tracks.
Editor's note: Crumb is one of those writers who insists on over-use of exclamation points! I hate that!