Harvey Pekar: Conversations

Edited by Michael G. Rhode

240 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 20 b&w illustrations, introduction, chronology, index

9781604730852 Unjacketed cloth $50.00S

9781604730869 Paper $30.00S

Unjacketed cloth, $50.00

Paper, $30.00

"Most comic book fans prefer fantasy. I'm a realistic writer: I try to push people's faces into their own lives."

Harvey Pekar's American Splendor is the longest-running and arguably the most influential autobiographical comic book series produced in America. Since 1976, Pekar (b. 1939) has reported on his life through his comics. Pekar's comic books deal with his life as a Veterans Administration clerk and freelance music critic; his friends and co-workers and their stories; and his home city of Cleveland. Pekar's struggles with physical and mental problems, a low-paying job, Hollywood, marriage, his daughter's adoption, and success are all laid out in his comics. Pekar prides himself on depicting his life in all its "splendor."

Harvey Pekar: Conversations offers almost twenty-five years of interviews from a variety of sources including small fanzines, local public radio shows, and the Washington Post. The volume reveals his thoughts and feelings about comics, autobiography, his appearances on David Letterman's show in the 1980s, his life with cancer, and how a successful 2003 movie adaptation of American Splendor has changed and not changed his life. His comics work has won the National Book Award, spawned theatrical productions, and served as the basis for the award-winning movie starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar.

Michael G. Rhode is an independent comics scholar and an editor of the International Journal of Comic Art. His work has been published in the Comics Journal and Hogan's Alley.

Illustration--Harvey Pekar by Gerry Shamray from The Best of American Splendor, courtesy Harvey Pekar

240 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 20 b&w illustrations, introduction, chronology, index