The film Crumb was released in 1994 directed by Terry Ziwigoff. The film is like an onion. Each Layer of his life was peeled away as the film revealed more about his family and childhood. It also explained that it is possible that art, and his comics are his therapy and way he made it in this world to survive. The film is disturbing, and it is obvious Crumb copes with his past through his work. To me his work is explained through the film. In addition Crumb’s work of Genesis is an onion as well. He peels away at the stories in Genesis to reveal the truths of what is occurring through imagery.
While his family can be viewed on the surface as a typical family of the fifty’s, the film peels away these assumptions. The portrayal of his father is quiet interesting, showing how he ruled the household through his tyranny and beatings of his sons. But how his father treated Crumb and his brothers (we do not know about his sisters due to the refusal to be in the film) caused them to react in ways that they retreated inside their minds creating an alternative world. Crumb’s success is due to his drive of revenge. But his revenge is not only towards his family but also to how people saw him when he was a teenager.
His earlier works reveal that he used people from his past as caricatures. This can specifically be seen in “Keep on Truckin” and “Fritz the Cat.” The fact is that the film specifically shows that his art and comics are a way for him to cope with his past. So while his work Genesis does not use people from his past or present to depict his hurt and need for a therapeutic outlet, he does reveal the truths of what the stories of Genesis are about. Pictures and imagery can bring a story to life. Many can read Genesis from the Old Testament and think nothing of it besides its teachings, and not really understand how it could be absurd. However because Crumb stayed true to the text in the biblical version of Genesis he was able to convey these truths through his imagery holding nothing back.
For example Crumb has been criticized for the pornographic images in his comic, however Crumb is drawing these frames how they are said, and depicted in the actual text. His realism in Genesis reflects his need to show the peeled onion, and truths that lacked in his typical fifties family. His bleak, raw depiction in Genesis takes famous religious writing and reveal the its peeled onion, and truths that are not usually realized.