Synopses & Reviews
The inspiration for the award-winning movie
from HBO Films and Fine Line Features
The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar
Two classic comic anthologies in one volume
Stories by Harvey Pekar
Introduction by R. Crumb
Art by Kevin Brown, Gregory Budgett, Sean Carroll, Sue Cavey, R. Crumb, Gary Dumm, Val Mayerik, and Gerry Shamray
The classic collection of the comics that inspired the movie American Splendor, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival
American Splendor is the world's first literary comic book. Cleveland native Harvey Pekar is a true American original. A V.A. hospital file clerk and comic book writer, Harvey chronicles the ordinary and mundane in stories both funny and touching. His dead-on eye for the frustrations and minutiae of the workaday world mix in a delicate balance with his insight into personal relationships. Pekar has been compared to Dreiser, Dostoevsky, and Lenny Bruce. But he is truly more than all of them--he is himself.
Mr. Pekar has . . . proven that comics can address the ambiguities of daily living, that like the finest fiction, they can hold a mirror up to life.
--The New York Times
Pekar has a vision that makes daily city life--a ride on the bus, a run-in with a boss, or simply buying bread--dramatic.
Simply stated, American Splendor is the most superb literary endeavor to come off the streets of Cleveland in decades.
--The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
Mr. Pekar lets all of life flood into his panels: the humdrum and the heroic, the gritty and the grand.
--The New York Times Book Review
"The most recent volume of Pekar's autobiographical anecdotes about the nonevents of his life is so self-reflexive it threatens to swallow its own tail. Pekar has been writing American Splendor comics for well over 30 years, but as they've become a bigger part of his life, they've also become the subject of more of his stories. Many of the several dozen short pieces here at least touch on the process of working on his comics a few are even variations on the groan-worthy 'what am I going to write a story about? I know I'll write about having to come up with a story!' formula. The book's artists, as usual, are decent to excellent Pekar's got a fine eye for collaborators. Darwyn Cooke and Rick Geary contribute stylish short strips, and The Boys artist Darick Robertson is a particularly good match with his fine-lined, detailed facial expressions. A few strips are prime Pekar, observant and witty, especially a David Lapham drawn piece in which he's pleased to discover 'a hard-working, humane, knowledgeable barber'; he's also starting to explore the physical difficulties of aging in some stories. Too often, though, this volume simply rambles, with Pekar casting himself as a grouch talking to himself about talking to himself." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In 2006, comics legend Harvey Pekar brought his unflinching tales of ordinary life to Vertigo with an all-new run of AMERICAN SPLENDOR, the comic that, 30 years earlier, rose "from the streets of Cleveland" and changed how we look at comics. Often imitated but never duplicated, Pekar proved that he still has the power to "make mundane reality seem like the highest drama" (Entertainment Weekly) in his critically acclaimed Vertigo series.
Now, Harvey Pekar is back with an all-new volume of AMERICAN SPLENDOR, featuring his funniest, most poignant, somber and uplifting stories from the complex life of an ordinary man.
Once again, AMERICAN SPLENDOR pairs Harvey with some of the most exciting, innovative artists currently in comics, including David Lapham (YOUNG LIARS, Stray Bullets), Darick Robertson (THE BOYS), Chris Weston (THE FILTH, Fantastic Four), Dean Haspiel (THE QUITTER, THE ALCOHOLIC), Warren Pleece (INCOGNEGRO), longtime Pekar collaborators Greg Budgett and Gary Dumm, and other luminaries from both the mainstream and indie worlds.