Record Thief and his mates

[Click to engorge.]

I was a bit surprised to notice that I've never before posted this "classic" (ahem) comic of mine from 1997. Quite amazing to reflect upon the entirely different pre-mp3, pre-Audiogalaxy, pre-Sharity blog, pre-Spotify universe from which it hails. Many people, I would imagine, view their physical collection of records (and CDs) as an encumbrance they'd gladly rid themself of. Of course the price would have to be right, but this still in the context of vinyl's supposedly "magic" resurgence.

Art Kassel's "Hell's Bells" is, of course, a Robert Crumb fave and all this wave of comics I made were inspired by Terry Zwigoff's "Crumb" movie and my vision of myself at that time as a "neo-Crumb". A month or so ago I bought a copy of the DVD and watched it again for the first time in twenty years. Such a deeply affecting movie. One thing which I think evaded my twenty six year old consciousness however, is the depth of Robert's "craft". Amid all the talk of family madness, perversion, LSD and cosmic inspiration that's something which can get lost by the wayside.

In the film seeing Robert working with his son Jessie to improve his drawing technique is a tantalisingly brief window into that neglected side of the Crumb genius; Crumb, the master craftsman. Many of the comics I did, like much of the early Woebot blog entries (er, until about two years probably, lol), were fast and loose. Generously you'd say this output was driven by an "electrified urgency" (true!) but on the other hand things could get a little sloppy. From that point-of-view it's always nice to discover my old work like "Record Thief" that's more carefully executed, even if this was actually drawn, unplanned, off-the-cuff and without any corrections.