Legendary American comic artist R. Crumb was also a legendary 78 collector and enthusiast of pre-war blues, country and jazz. One need only read his short comic “The Old Songs Are The Best Songs” (1982) to gain an understanding on his musical tastes. One of his greatest works, and contributions to the world of the blues, is his 1984 graphic biography of Charley Patton. Patton is my favourite of the pre-war players, and Crumb’s biography does an excellent job of telling his story, while providing visuals that effectively portray the feel of the world Patton worked and lived in. The comic is available to read in its entirety here, and if you enjoy it as much as I do, “Patton” is available to purchase as a part of the collection R. Crumb Draws the Blues.
Charley Patton, “Down the Dirt Road Blues” (1929)