on April 1, 2009
I'm glad I finally ordered a copy of this book! I had put this one off not expecting I would care for it much and just wanted to complete my "Complete Crumb" set. Wow! I'm so glad I did...! Lots of good stuff in here! As usual, there is 5-15% that I don't care for at all -- and a whole lot of what excites me!
The book starts off slow and unexciting, like a slow-rolling ride at an amusement park, but not badly, with a not-terribly-titillating introduction by the artist and a four or six black and white comics he illustrated for Harvey Pekar which have a strange effect on me as if they are both great and underwhelming at the same time. Then the book steps up into the story from which the cover drawing came. Not my favorite Crumb character, that coneheaded fellow, but it began to wake me up. Ah. Then a faux 2-page advertisement, MAD magazine style, "Weirdo makeovers" which -- nah, it's not enjoyable to me either but only took up 2 pages, then we go into 6 or 10 pages of various and sundry stuff, some I like a lot, other things, eh. Then the comic about Sharon & Karen meeting the famous rock star Boz. (I guess that means Scaggs?) Interesting and strange! Then a weird comic one-pager I don't like the art enough to read yet, then a "klassic komic" where Crumb illustrates part of a diary of a guy that lived in London 1762-63, which I found somewhat fascinating, I'll skip the next section over to his 5-page remembrance of the Sixties. Great stuff! Oh, and I just LOVE the way he illustrated the lyrics to a few songs, showing what those songs made him think of. The one for the song "My Guy" had me laughing out loud!
There's a whole mixed bag of stuff in this book, and that's for sure! Later in the book is a story about his mid-life crisis when he almost gave up doing comics. (So glad he made it through that!!) That was interesting, sad and funny and delightful. One particularly cute part is when it shows him dumping the "doody" from a dirty diaper while his little daughter looks on with great interest as Crumb is singing, "Bye bye Mr. Doody," hahaha. Okay. I'm sick. Only sick people read this comics I guess! But I don't hate everybody as the Amazon reviewer suggested in characterizing Crumb's fans. It's a long comic, the part about his mid-life crisis, with him messing around with a girl other than his wife, talking to his wife in the house and in bed, talking with a neighbor, fantasizing, ruminating on his record collection that he holds so dear, and finally with the happy "ending" of his getting back to drawing (and his wife threatening to cry if he doesn't draw her to make her look nicer). Great stuff! There is more, but that's all I'll mention in this review except to say I have read most of the Complete Crumb series now and I give them ALL 5 stars, so YES, I guess I'm prejudiced -- and happily so! (smile)
on October 16, 2009
Crumb lays it all out for you, as usual
Robert Crumb's work beggars imagination and description. In these works from the early 1980s, he displays his usual wide range of eccentric tastes. My favorites: curmudgeonly Etoin Shrdlu lusts after the disco dancers on late night Japanese TV and is pulled into the action! Crumb illustrates a debauched slice of Boswell's London Journal! Former Catholic School girls Sharon and Karen experience a harrowing bar encounter with a scraggly Boz Scaggs! And in two separate strips, Crumb illustrates his and loner/loser George Murkoid's pathetic (and gymnastic) midlife crises and semi-flings!
Indescribable. Definitely NC-17 material if not borderline X.