Harvey Pekar

Harvey Pekar

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Comic Book Confidential Review


OK
Are you really into comic books? Really really? Like Kevin Smith-really into comic books?

If you answered yes to all three questions, you'll love Comic Book Confidential -- presuming you haven't seen it at some point in the last 14 years. Now available on DVD, the documentary lightly traces the history of the comic book medium since its inception, complete with stories about censorship, underground comics, parody, women's issues, and the various genre changes the medium went through.

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American Splendor Review


Excellent
Comic book heroes like Spider-Man and The Hulk get all the press. Hey, what about the little guy?

Harvey Pekar is the ultimate little guy -- not just in the comics world, where his American Splendor has been an underground phenomenon for decades, but in real life, as he has held down a steady gig as a file clerk in a Cleveland VA hospital since the beginning of the known universe.

Continue reading: American Splendor Review

American Splendor Review


OK

Breaking the fourth wall in an extraordinarily innovative way, "American Splendor" stars perennial second-banana Paul Giamatti ("Man On the Moon," "Big Fat Liar") as cantankerous file clerk Harvey Pekar -- the anti-hero of his own autobiographical underground comic book for the last 20 years -- and also features the real Harvey Pekar as meta-narrator and commentator ("OK, here's me, or the guy playing me, even though he doesn't look anything like me") in sardonic interview segments that compliment the action.

Peeling cartoon thought bubbles -- and sometimes entire panels and pages -- straight from the pages of "American Splendor" and incorporating them into the film, co-writers/directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (documentary makers up to now) capture brilliantly both the inner grumblings of charismatically prickly Pekar and his dark and uniquely unironic sense of self-parody.

Inventive and blessed with uncommonly human-yet-cartoony performances (Hope Davis plays Pekar's loving but ever-aggravated wife Joyce), this film is one of a kind.

Harvey Pekar

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