70 years ago today in Philadelphia, PA, a weirdo
was born. He grew up in a spectacularly dysfunctional family
, angry, alienated and beset by bizarre sexual compulsions
, mostly involving girls with giant butts
. But following those early years of bitter struggle, he became a celebrated cartoonist
, hilarious (and just as often despairing
) art transformed funnybooks and American society. His name is R. Crumb
His pioneering "underground comix
", featuring characters like Mr. Natural
and Fritz the Cat
, made him an unlikely counterculture hero in the 1960s. But he was never really at home with the idealistic hippies, and in the 1970s and 80s his work took on a more scathing, confessional
tone as his draftsmanship became increasingly meticulous
. Crumb found a whole new audience in 1995, following the release of Terry Zwigoff's revelatory, award-winning documentary, Crumb
. Crumb reacted to his newfound fame with predictable disdain
, and fled to the South of France, where has lived ever since.
While it's been many years since Crumb was regularly producing new comic books, he has still been quite active. In 2009 he published his longest work to date, a surprisingly straightforward adaptation of Genesis
. More recently he has been indulging his love of old-timey music, performing with the East River String Band
, becoming a semi-regular guest on the John's Old-Time Radio Show
podcast, and even starring as a lovelorn geek
in one of the band's music videos.
And yeah, he's the Keep on Truckin'
guy. He'd rather not talk about