The Wall Street Journal has an article up discussing R. Crumb’s musical interests and, indeed, prowess. Written by Will Friedwald it includes a report on his recent set with The East River String Band (who consist of Ex-Forbidden Planet NYC manager and my first boss at the store John Heneghan and ex-staffer Eden Brower) while on his recent US trip to promote The Book of Genesis.
Since it was Mr. Heneghan’s show, he did most of the talking; the only time Mr. Crumb spoke was to explain the nickname of a very obscure ’20s blues singer, Little Hat Jones. (Apparently, it refers to the condition of the brim, not the size of the hat itself.) Unlike much else in the Crumb oeuvre, it was not a sexual reference.
At 66, Mr. Crumb remains a man of many contrasts—not least in that he rarely grants interviews, but, at the same time, he puts his darkest and most intimate thoughts on display for all to see in his work.
Of course, there are no more gigs with Crumb in the immediate future, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeking out and experiencing some of the most wonderful music of the last 100+ years as discussed in the piece. Also, follow the musical exploits of the East River String Band here, where you can sample some of their sounds for free, and get updates on gigs.
by Jeff Ayers
Further proving this writer’s hypothesis that damn near everyone involved in the pop arts these days wants to be associated with comics & geek culture, an onslaught of prose novelists are releasing comics in the near future, led by this week’s Anita Blake: Guilty Pleasures #1 from Laurell K.Hamilton. Other recent medium-hoppers of note include espionage/suspense writers Greg Rucka (52, Whiteout) and Brad Meltzer (Identity Crisis, Justice League), as well as fantasists Raymond E. Feist, Tad Williams, and Orson Scott Card. Movie and TV personalities are also jumping aboard as director Reggie Huddlin, Lost producer Damon Lindelof, Buffy creator Joss Whedon, and Allan Heinberg of The OC are all writing comics, too.
While this trend is anything but new, the sheer number of projects granted to these fledging comic authors is daunting to say the least. One wonders if the job pool for established comic writers will soon be shallower by way of this new wave, regardless of the former’s prior successes, their knowledge of the medium, and their ability to make a deadline. Indeed, many of these newer ongoing projects from “outside” writers are plagued by release dates not met and rush-jobs churned out on account of the writer’s other, more profitable, obligations. However, as long as their comics maintain a consistent level of quality and punctuality they are worth note.