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American Splendor Presents: Bob & Harv's…

American Splendor Presents: Bob & Harv's Comics

by Harvey Pekar

Other authors: Robert Crumb (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: American Splendor (Nov 1996)

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It's been a long time since I've read a volume of American Splendor, longer than I would've liked, and if I'd known better, I wouldn't have read this one. Not that it's bad-- far from it-- but it mostly, if not entirely collects comics I've already read. (There were a couple I didn't recognize, but that might just be because I forgot them.) This dips through the entire American Splendor series to pick up the ones illustrated by R. Crumb, thus reprinting comics that already appeared in American Splendor and More American Splendor and The New American Splendor.

That said, it's nice to see Pekar and Crumb at the top of their game: this set includes classics like "The Harvey Pekar Name Story" (four pages of Pekar just telling you about his name), "Standing Behind Old Jewish Ladies in Supermarket Lines" (exactly what it sounds like), "Freddy Visits for the Weekend" (Pekar is visited by a friend trying to scam meals off him), and "American Splendor Assaults the Media" (Pekar is asked by a magazine to submit writing and they don't print it, resulting in three-page screed). It struck me that there was much less, well, serious content in these stories: Pekar can really dig into the emotions and tribulations of his private life sometimes, but there's little of that here, no stories about Pekar's sickness or his romantic relationships.

Rather, his collaborations with Crumb focus on the encounters Pekar has with various strange characters that populate his life, especially the staff of the VA hospital where Pekar works as a file clerk. There are a lot of two- or one- or even half-page tales here, quick encounters with people dispensing weird life advice, or being rude, or selling pickled okra, or whatever. As always, Pekar's eye for the everyday and Crumb's deliberately shabby art conspire to make these fun little gems of an ordinary life well observed.

There's also a pair of forewords, one by Pekar about Crumb, and one by Crumb about Pekar. I don't think I've read them before, so they were nice to read.
  Stevil2001 | Oct 31, 2015 |
Love it. I love watching this man's perfectly ordinary life, it truly shows how anyone's life can be interesting. I especially like when the comics are about music. Crumb's art is endearing and clean. Pekar is very intelligent and I like how he collects. I loved it. ( )
  stipe168 | May 3, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pekar, Harveyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crumb, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bandarra, Mariana DiehlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LaerteForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Gathered here are the collected works of the titans of adults comics legendary underground cartoonist R. Crumb and the "high priest of comic-book naturalism" (Newsweek) Harvey Pekar. The comic collision of these underground luminaries is funny, obsessive, ever-so-slightly neurotic, but always biting and honest.… (more)

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