Back in the late 90s early 2000s, my friend and I got high and went for a walk on a local trail.
We were pretty darn high, and quietly singing theme songs from the 80s, like The Greatest American Hero and Family Ties (“Shalalalaaah”). The pot made us pretty paranoid, too.
Anyway, as we were walking a guy was walking toward us in the opposite direction. He looked sketchy. He looked kind of disheveled and he was walking with a look of determination and intensity. He was wearing camo pants and a kind of cheap olive poncho, like a rain blocker. I whispered to my friend, “Whoa, this dude looks a little suspect, man. Be on guard.” He said, “Yeah, totally. Keeping cool but ready.”
So we passed by the guy, ready to run like jack rabbits if need be, but nothing happened.
And then suddenly something cut through the pot smoke. And it hit me. I spun on my heels and said, “Hey!”
He turned around.
“You’re Crumb’s brother!”
The guy said, matter-of-factly, “Yes, I am.”
My friend gave out the biggest high-as-fuck “whoooooooooaaahh it IS him.”
It was the brother who lived in SF and sat on boards with nails and all that. Not the pedo one who committed suicide.
I said, “Uh, well, we really liked that movie, that’s all.”
He said, “Thank you.”
“Okay, well, goodbye.”
And that’s how I met Crumb’s brother.
This is a fantastic documentary about one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th century. Crumb is completely open and unrehearsed about his frailties, and what really struck me in watching this movie was how, for all his obvious mental health issues, Robert is clearly the healthiest and most functional member of his entire family.
The director of this documentary, Terry Zweigoff, also directed the excellent 2001 film, “Ghost World” featuring a young Scarlett Johansson opposite Thora Birch and Steve Buscemi, adapted from the work of another outstanding comic book artist, Daniel Clowes.
I’d also throw in a plug for the narrative film American Splendor which talks about Crumb’s friend and fellow artist Harvey Pekar.
One of the best documentaries ever made! R. Crumb is an extraordinary man, even though he doesn’t perceive himself as such.
Says something bout copyright blah blah fuck youtube.