American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar

Overview

The inspiration for the award-winning movie from HBO Films and Fine Line Features

AMERICAN SPLENDOR
The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar

Two classic comic anthologies in one volume

Stories by Harvey Pekar

Introduction by R. Crumb

Art by ...

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Paperback (First Ballantine Books Edition)
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Overview

The inspiration for the award-winning movie from HBO Films and Fine Line Features

AMERICAN SPLENDOR
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.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“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

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Cleveland denizen Harvey Pekar has chronicled the days of his life in a series of acclaimed comic books. Here's an anthology of the comics that inspired the 2003 Sundance Award-winning American Splendor film.
Chicago Sun-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.
The New York Times
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 Book Review
Mr. Pekar lets all of life flood into his panels: the humdrum and the heroic, the gritty and the grand.
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
Simply stated, American Splendor is the most superb literary endeavor to come off the streets of Cleveland in decades.
Library Journal
Pekar has become a cult figure of the non-superhero comics world, transcending his beginnings in the 1970s underground comics scene with his unique narrative of Everyman's Ordinary Life that somehow engrosses and uplifts. He's an irascible yet lovable antihero, frank about his own warts as well as everyone else's. Pekar lets you know that real life isn't what the media tells you, but you can deal with it and keep going-a message both reassuring and empowering. Pekar's autobiographical oeuvre numbers at least 15 paperback compilations; these two anthologies are good for libraries just beginning to collect his work. Beyond these, Our Cancer Year (coauthored with wife Joyce Brabner), The Quitter, and American Splendor: Our Movie Year treat special periods in his life, while Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story and American Splendor: Unsung Hero branch out into other people's lives. All of Pekar's work belongs in older teen and adult collections, with strong language and occasional nudity and sex.-M.C. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345468307
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/16/2003
  • Series: American Splendor Series
  • Edition description: First Ballantine Books Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 337,166
  • Product dimensions: 8.27 (w) x 10.86 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2008

    Give Pekar the Nobel Prize!!!

    This man, blue-collar as he is, is a modern literary genius. His stories show the intriguing side of everyday life and his own life has been a fantastic mix of tragedy and triumph. We can all relate to his stories and he proves that everyday life can be just as interesting and surreal as any piece of modern fiction. I will be so mad if Pekar doesn't receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in his life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2004

    This is the Pekar Primer

    This 'American Splendor' anthology is an absolute essential for understanding Harvey Pekar and the world he inhabited some thirty years ago. The book presents an episode or two from the 1950's, focuses on the 1970's, and then ends his story briefly after his marriage to Joyce Brabner in the early 1980's. Toby Radloff fans might be a little disappointed. To the best of my recollection, there's only one story involving Toby in this book, and unfortunately there's no way Harvey can reproduce Toby's unique voice in print. However, there are so many stories here that are just classic - Harvey meeting Crumb, Harvey struggling with his addiction to record collecting, Harvey standing in line behind old Jewish ladies, Harvey's struggle with his voice (which is MUCH more sympathetic towards his second wife than the film was), Alice Quinn, etc., etc. Among the artists illustrating Harvey's prose, Robert Crumb and Gerry Shamray really shine here. This is one of those books I can read over and over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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