Comic books are a common collector’s item and can even become an obsession, but it’s not as common to learn about the man behind the drawings. The documentary Crumb chronicles the life of Robert Crumb, a famous cartoonist/artist. It is through interviews with his mother, two brothers, wife, and ex-girlfriends that the viewer learns about how he grew up and his life. This makes it easier to understand the way Crumb is and explains his choice of drawings. It is an entry into Crumb’s subconscious that streams from his pen and reveals his life.
It was necessary to find a director that could match Crumb’s strangeness in order for this film to work. And what better guy than Terry Zwigoff? His love for comic books began in the early 1970s in San Francisco. During his mid-twenties he learned how to play the cello and joined Crumb’s string band, R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenades. They went on to win the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Crumb.
Crumb’s cartoons are extremely sexual. On screen he is uncomfortable and awkward, but somehow it works. He is a creep. Although, it becomes apparent that he is really just honest. He does not candy cote a thing. (more…)