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American Splendor [Paperback]

Harvey Pekar
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 28.00
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Book Description

July 29 2003 American Splendor
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.”
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harvey's First Collection, Possibly His Best March 26 2000
This is the first paperback collection of Harvey's work, and no collection is complete without it. There are more one- and two-page stories than his later work, and this edition does concentrate on Harvey's work life more than anything else. The longer story on how he got to meet Bob Crumb is priceless. It never fails to amaze me how truthful Harvey is about his character flaws, and that's one reason his work is so compelling. Definitely worth the money and time to have Amazon hunt this one down for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real life made entertaining........ April 30 2004
I had all of Harvey's comic books up until 1980. When I came back from Navy boot camp I looked all over the house for them. I couldn't find them, however, and came to find out my mom threw them away! It was a huge disappointment because anyone that has read his accounts can identify with the material. I forgot about American Splendor until a few years ago...when I came across a copy of the anthology at a book store here in Cleveland. I bought it and found the other anthology and Our Cancer Year at Amazon. Bought both issues without a thought. You can take solace in the fact that "you aren't the only one" going through these things. It is very cathartic. Sometimes I'm glad I don't have Harvey's problems and other times I would trade mine for his. A friend of mine, knowing my conservative views, was surprised to find my interest in American Splendor. "Sure", I told him, "Harvey is on the left and I'm on the right politically, but life's problems aren't political. Hey, when you get to thinking about it a broken down car or lost glasses afflict us all." I would recommend this book to everyone because
we are all in the same boat...some just sink faster.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book literally changed my life! June 9 2004
When I was a student at the University of South carolina in 1987, I was browsing through the library and I came across "American Splendor" with the cartoon cover of Harvey on a Johnny Carsonish talk show. It looked interesting, and when I read it- WHOA!
These are stories straight from real life like you've never read them before! The tale of the old man who tells Harvey great stories,but clams up when he meets an attractive lady. Emil,the lonely Slav whose racism covers his insecurities, Mr. Boats, the cranky old man whose race (African-American) is never called attention to in the stories. I was moved more than anything I've read since Charles Schulz and said, "DAMN! If this guy can write like this,I should give it a try."
Since then,I've been a newspaper commetator as well as a writer of historical articles.
Thank you Harvey, for showing me that I can.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harvey rocks! Nov. 14 2003
"Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff". After seeing the trailer of the movie adaptation of American Splendor I knew that I had to see it. Although I haven't been able to see the film just yet, I did get a chance to purchase the book in my college bookstore! Harvey has a way of writing his comics to give you the REAL way of looking at the world in which we live in. Having had a friendship with Robert Crumb makes Harvey Pekar's work right up to par with Crumb. I think that Harvey Pekar is one of the best comic book writers out there, although under-rated, but I think that he's been able to come through for the fans and I can't wait to see the movie!
This is our world, this is life, this is American Splendor :) .
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