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Author Topic: R. Crumb's "Heroes of the Blues"  (Read 1887 times)

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Offline frankie

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R. Crumb's "Heroes of the Blues"
« on: October 11, 2004, 12:48:04 PM »
Back in print from Denis Kitchen Publishing Co.

Always wanted a set, tacky or not!

Online Johnm

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Re: R. Crumb's "Heroes of the Blues"
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2004, 09:14:58 PM »
Hi all,
I know that some of the images Crumb did in this set were based on photos from old record ads or other sources, but for several of the musicians in the set, (William Moore comes to mind) I have never seen any photos.  Does anybody know if all of Crumb's drawings are based on photos of the artists in question, or did he do some of them from his imagination?  Just wondering.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline Bill Roggensack

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Re: R. Crumb's "Heroes of the Blues"
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2004, 11:49:05 PM »
I looked all over for a set of these cards - they were available in 'The Store' from John Haddon the first year I attended PTCBW (1995). But I was ovewhelmed with other things at the time and let the opportunity pass by. For a time, they were available both cut into cards and and as an uncut poster from Cat Yronwood's (sp?) printing business. Once I finally decided I wanted a set of these cards, my quest became an obsession, and I eventually bought Heroes of the Blues, plus Jazz Greats and Pioneers of Country? - for about $10 or $12 each - on eBay, and in mint condition (not plastic wrapped tho'). Crumb seems to have captured some of the essence of his subjects in his caracitures. The Sleepy John Estes photo looks like it was taken by a sherrif at booking time.

JohnM - I think you are right in suggesting that most of the portraits can be traced to actual photographs - e.g. the Frank Stokes photo is the one that was cropped for the 'Memphis Masters' cover on Yazoo. It came from the (square format glass negative) archives of Hook Bros. - a portrait studio in Memphis. The reproduction I have is a 9"x9" duotone (in a blues calendar from 1998) that shows exquisite detail, including a little dull pinky ring on Frank's right hand, his left hand fretting a C7 shape (these do not look like any blacksmith's hands I've seen!), and a rumpled white shirt with the elbow torn out. The guitar looks like a brand-new Stella with a capo on the second fret. With eyes that look right through you, I suspect Mr. Stokes had no problem chatting with the ladies!

About 22 of Crumb's blues heroes drawings have been reproduced in sepia tones in a cool little book titled "Little Blues Book" by Brian Robertson. It is a collection of quotes and anecdotes, mostly gleaned from other published sources. I see from the Denis Kitchen web site that he plans to do the other decks of Crumb 'hero' cards as well. What I'd really like to lay my hands on is one of the uncut posters on card stock - it would look great hanging in my office - what a conversation piece.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2005, 09:55:07 PM by Johnm »
Cheers,
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Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: R. Crumb's "Heroes of the Blues"
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2004, 07:42:55 AM »
I "Googled" Charley Patton one day and stumbled upon 11 x 14 enlargments of the card collection at othertones on e-Bay. I ordered some a while ago but they have been delayed by the Florida storms. I'll report back the quality when(if) I receive them.
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

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