Crumb’s comic art—which he has described in almost therapeutic terms as an emptying of his “garbage receptacle” unconscious—is balanced by his more sober and nostalgic illustrations, the counterweight to the “crap” of his childhood media exposure. One might even think of Crumb’s consumption of old-time music and imagery as a kind of cultural health food diet. One of the most popular of his nostalgic works is “A Short History of America” (1979) a series of panels showing the shift from open countryside, to the town settlements brought by the railroads, to the gross overdevelopment of the late-twentieth century. The only text besides the title (and the burgeoning billboards and street signs) is a coda at the bottom-right-hand of the last panel asking, “What next?!!!” You can see the comic animated above (top), set to an old-time piano piece. Another fitting version of his vision of the country’s growth (or ruination) is above, in color, scored by Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.” See the full series of images here and here , and be sure to check out Crumb's three epilogue speculations on what's next.
* On the banks of the Tombigbee River, in west-central Alabama, there is a nice exposure of the K-T boundary, where deposits of the Cretaceous are overlain directly by the deposits of the Tertiary period. The Cretaceous period was ended by an event that occurred on a particular day 65,000,000 years ago, when an asteroid with a diameter of approx. 10 km (6mi.) struck just north of the Yucatan, creating a crater 180 km (110 mi.) across. This event ended the reign of the dinosaurs. Following that, small mammals - which were able to survive in the altered environment - proceeded to fill available territory. *