Friday, April 07, 2006

Harvey Pekar and American Splendor

This is a comic book put out by a middle aged man named Harvey Pekar. He draws a rough “thumbnail” sketch in cartoon sequence the story he is telling and each story is interpreted by a different artists. Famed underground cartoonist Robert Crumb is one of his frequent contributing artists.

Harvey Pekar and Robert Crumb have some things they have in common.: They are both from Cleveland, Ohio, and they both love old blues and jazz 33 rpm records.

Harvey stores he tells is nothing he makes up. It is his day to day living. Some of it is amusing and some of it is sad. It is like a visual blog on paper.

Harvey is a file clerk for a hospital in Cleveland and gets file clerk pay. He and his wife have a hard time making ends meet. He is also a cancer patient. His comic book business helps some as an extra income.

At times he has been on the David Letterman Show, but he is so eccentric and unpredictable I think he wore out his welcome.

There is also a movie of his life named, of course, American Splendor, which I thought was done very well.

For Christmas my son gave me “The Best of American Splendor” which I am still slowly looking at, maybe a story a week…. Like a they used to say about a good cigar, take it slow and enjoy it more.



Blogger Suzanne said...

He has a new comic book out about someone else, whose name I am totally blanking out on but who is a very interesting person with whom most people would probably not want to spend much time. The comic got a very good review in Entertainment Weekly.

9:06 AM  
Blogger gerbil said...

Its weird but we now have the technology etc to tell the previously hidden stories of 1000's of people in so many different forms (weblogs, comics, photography).

I think that when our descendents come to write our histories the biggest problem they will have is filtering the infomation...apart from the fact that so much of it is going to be stored on a servedr some where that will eventually be unplugged

10:52 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Harvey Pekar or Robert Crumb? I am probably wrong, but Harvey Pekar, as entertaining as I find him, he seems to have no scope beyound his personal life.
Now, on the other hand, Robert Crumb has at least two illustrated biographies, that I can't think of the names either.

1:06 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I think you are right. Our mode of communicating is changing so fast these days, no matter what we are using today, it will be outdated tomorrow, and say three generations from now, about 75 years give or take, will probably not be compatable to the gadgets we have today.
Maybe we should go back to the old fashion method of paper, and the printed word - wait! By then we won't have trees to make paper!

1:13 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Sometimes I feel just like that guy in the cartoon, especially when my scanner fails and I cannot get it working.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

No, it's Pekar. His first foray outside of American Splandor or something like that. I'll have to find the review and send it to you.

9:49 PM  
Blogger ET said...


7:54 AM  

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