R Crumb was in great form (in a Woody Allen sort of way) last night at the National Film Theatre in conversation with Steve Bell, especially when Aline, after much heckling, joined them on stage. Steve was interested in technical details like what nib Rapidograph he used and how he drew lefthanded. Any difficult questions were put down to his acid years. Spotted in the audience were Mike Leigh and Jim Broadbent (and Paul Gambacinni and Corinne Pearlman). I was disappointed he didn't do a signing in the end but I got Zorro and Aline to sign my book. He'd mentioned Hogarth's paintings at 'The Soane house'. Strangely enough I was at Sir John Soane's Museum earlier. Wal had phoned me on the train to say the Bonham's Crumb exhibition had shut a day early and I was at a loose end. Wonderful place, bathed in light on a spring day. Grumpy curator only opened the 'painting doors' when I assured her I'd exhaustively studied the top paintings, but she was relieved by a more knowledgeable chap who showed me the Piranasis and Turner lurking under the surface! Also popped into the Hunterian museum opposite to see grisly things in bottles! Drink with Wal then down to The Hole in the Wall to meet Geo. The train back was delayed by a 'trespasser' (body) on the line at Clapham Junction.

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