thirty movies hath november – Crumb (1994)


instead of a tagline it looks like an equation, no?  weird sex + obsession = comic books
and it could easily be, if your subject is
R. Crumb

its been about 15 years, and Crumb remains remarkable for its candid  approach to documentary biography.. 
R. Crumb
, his wives (current and ex-), children, mother, brothers (his two sisters refuse to participate), friends, girlfriends, all agreed to sit with writer/producer/director Terry Zwigoff.
what results if a portrait of the artist as a deeply fucked up man from a deeply dysfunctional family  – yet the most touching moments focus on R.'s older brother, Charles, profoundly psychotic and unable to leave his mother's house. as the brothers talk, we see some of the drawings and comix they made while growing up; and we see that Charles was by far the most talented.  'tis heartbreaking to watch.


I have a personal mystery about Crumb:  when we went to watch the movie, the concessions stand was selling Devil Girl choco-bars with a wrapper designed by the man himself.  I kept that bar for years, and one day it just *vanished*.
no one would admit eating or stealing it.  it remains a mystery.

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6 thoughts on “thirty movies hath november – Crumb (1994)

  1. I saw this movie, or most of it whenI first got digital cable in late '00 or early '01, what a weird and interesting guy. total perv. Funny about the chocolate bar. Well, not funny but mysterious funny!

  2. Kitchen Sink Press is located in the town I live. Haven't heard anything about it in ages. This area is huge on artists' books, comix, alternattive press, and indy pubs.I wonder where your candy went.

  3. oh i didnt like this movie. i actually threw it out after i watched it. determined never to watch it again. i found it very difficult to watch the crumbs. especially the brother with the shoelace. the older brother was sad, yes but his relationship with his mother seemed too weird for much sympathy. and there seemed to be an underlying history of sexual abuse which would explain a lot. i could not get past the fact that the women of the family refused to participate.
    i also wondered what crumb had done with all his money? his whole family lived in squalor. seriously it looks like its filmed in 1930 dont you think?
    i was a big fan of crumb before i seen this. got a few of his books, but seeing that he was only a dirty old guy killed it for me. i thought he was doing commentary in his comics! to spark debate/ideas/change but it turns out hes just weird. nothing more.
    watch 'american splendour' instead. harvey pekar is the direct opposite of robert crumb.
    end of rant.

  4. you make good points, paul. it is a hard movie to watch.I did notice the close weird relationship of Charles and Mrs. Crumb, but I thought it may be co-dependency, though sexual abuse cannot be ruled a way, I see how comix are a way for R. to channel his weirdness and obsessions without damage to himself or others. a better outcome than that of poor Charles.I have watched American Splendour . very interesting, and like you say, Pekar is a much different character. Pekar and R. are or were good friends once upon a time.

  5. oh i didnt mean abuse between charles and his mum, my sentence was poor, i just meant history of sexual abuse in the family somewhere. it just seemed too probable for it not to be the case – 3 boys with such sexual problems.
    thats true actually, robert has done the best out of the brothers, maybe i should have looked at it that way…that he has achieved despite his frailties.

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