I've been reading "The R. Crumb Handbook." (Yeah, it's one of the five books referred to here, the guessing commenters will be interested to know.) I was not an R. Crumb fan until the movie "Crumb" drew me in. The Handbook is terrific, mixing written biographical text and illustrated pages. The text to a great extent tracks the story told in the movie, with some notable differences. The book emphasizes Crumb's Catholic upbringing, a subject entirely missing from the movie.
When you make a documentary, you take your footage and tell the story you want -- like a lawyer deciding what evidence to present. The R. Crumb of the movie was shaped by weird parents, the repressive American culture of the 1950s, and the liberating effect of LSD and sex. The Crumb of the book is much more grounded in serious respect for art and an intensely religious upbringing.
The book comes with a CD of Crumb's old-timey music. Fans -- like me! -- of Jim Kweskin should enjoy it. I'm sitting in a café, waiting to get my hands on the new marijuana case, and, needing to screen out something awful the baristas decided to unleash on the nerve-jangled customers, I started playing the Crumb CD through the headphones on my computer. The fifth song is a bit much, but it makes me laugh anyway. It's a jaunty little ditty called "My Girl's P***y."
Now, let's see if I can get to the case.