So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Friday, February 17, 2006


American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar. Harvey Pekar

American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar is the largest published collection of the comic series, containing the complete text of American Splendor and More American Splendor. With an introduction by R. Crumb, and art by Kevin Brown, Gregory Budgett, Sean Carroll, Sue Cavey, R. Crumb, Gary Drumm, Val Materick, and Gerry Shamray this is 320 pages of a classic American comic.

Pekar's work is a cerebral approach to the comic medium. Many of the panels have no dialog and only illustrate the external while the text reveals the thought stream of Pekar's mind. His ability to portray the inner workings of his thoughts, in a humorous and sympathetic manner, is the key to the success of his writings. The comic is a working class version of Seinfeld with a populist self-made intellectual as the leading character. Yet there is a Existentialist angst to this work that puts it in a class by itself.

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