Saul Pekar was a Talmudic scholar who owned a grocery store on Kinsman Avenue, with the family living above the store. They had so much love and admiration for one another. One of the only white kids still living there, Pekar was often beaten up. He later believed this instilled in him "a profound sense of inferiority.
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Start your review of American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar Write a review Sep 26, Paul Bryant rated it really liked it Recommends it for: anyone with a grudge Shelves: graphic-novelly-stuff , autobiography-memoir This needs a bit of explanation. Once there was an earnest young jazz fan called Harvey Pekar living in Cleveland, a grim industrial place by the sound of it. He collected records and through that obsession he met Robert Crumb, who you all know to be the most famous "underground comics" artist ever.
Crumb was just beginning his journey to the heart of the hippy nightmare. Harvey was and is a guy with strong opinions. He hated his own joyless life - by This needs a bit of explanation. He hated his own joyless life - by that time he even hated his own record collecting obsession! In previous decades he might have written an unreadable social realist novel, but in s Cleveland he thought of comics.
But not comics as we know them. The very good news was, however, he knew Crumb, and Crumb liked his ideas, and so agreed to illustrate them. So began a series of comic books called American Splendor ironic title, you see. Somewhere along the line somebody made a stage play about the whole thing, like they do, and then they made a movie, called American Splendor, of course.
Which is pretty good, but quite peculiar. In the movie the actor playing Harvey goes to see the play about Harvey in which Harvey is played by another actor and also meets the real Harvey.
I believe this is called post-modernism, but could also be called far out. This book is a reprint of two earlier collections, and is the full-on Harvey Pekar experience. I found it grimly compelling, dour, only occasionally humorous. For all his faults, Harvey had a lot of faults, and he never spares himself. He never apologises for himself and he never lightens up.
American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar