The unlikely ascent of Harvey Pekar began in the halls of Cleveland’s VA Hospital, where he worked as a file clerk for 35 years. In his spare time, Pekar wrote and self-published the autobiographical “American Splendor” comics, which illustrated his less-than-splendid life. The series gained a large and loyal cult following, and eventually was adapted into a 2003 feature film. Joining the master of mundane is cartoonist Alison Bechdel, the author of “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic,” an account of her childhood and complex relationship with her father. The graphic memoir, which took Bechdel seven years to complete, was named the best book of 2006 by Time magazine. She is also author of the syndicated strip “Dykes to Watch Out For.” Together, these two explore the power of graphic novels as a confessional medium. (rsterling)
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