Real Stuff: The Meaning of Life


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To real…

wow, Jim Woodring!

It is a good thought.

Thanks for bringing these Real Stuff stories back to life. Back in the day I had a complete run of RS, and have favorites I’m hoping to see, like when he was riding his bike , and the hoodlum neighbor kids stretched barbed wire across the alley. Hey, I’d love to see that story of the body falling from the airplane as told on your pod-cast, but I don’t think it was ever in RS, was it? Thanks again!


I love this story; it’s probably my favorite of all the RS stories, and that’s saying a lot. It’s always kind of a revelation to see Jim Woodring doing a more realistic subject, because even though I appreciate and celebrate his explosive and endlessly-fertile imagination, it can sometimes be a bit of a distraction from just how much sheer craft he has; his black and white work has this textured, woodcutty aspect to it that really shines through here. I also love the central mystery of the difference in memories; maybe his friend made the remark so offhandedly that he simply doesn’t remember doing it, but if not, and it’s Eichhorn’s memory that’s faulty, then where did this revelation come from? Truly, the neatest of Real Stuff.


Do you know if Robert Crumb did a story like this? Because I remember reading the first coupla pages of this when I was an 11 year old Batman fanboy at the UK Comic Art Convention in '91 and actually being scared and repulsed by the style of drawing (which my memory INSISTS was Crumbs!). Except I seem to remember that the panels where Eichorn and his friend pee on their hands were rendered as 3/4 length full body “shots”, not the extreme close ups here…weird…I didn’t actually get into alternative comics until like five years later but never saw the “Phantom Crumb” (which looks like it was actually drawn by Jim Woodring!) comic 'til today. It’s made doubly strange by the fact that Crumb and Woodring don’t really have very similar art styles at all.
As an aside–Fanta are reprinting The Book of Jim! I have the original four mags that comprise the volume but there’s extra stuff in the tpb and copies of it aren’t exactly cheap when you do find them…

It was, I’d have to check the issue…

I can understand conflating this story with Crumb, because that one panel that’s a close-up of Eichhorn’s face as he’s doing a bit of monologue is very much a Crumb specialty.

It’s like Christmas every time one of these comics pops up on my feed. No matter what I’m doing, I have to stop and indulge.

This one blew my mind. That is exactly how faith works.

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