Thursday, 15 July 2010

Take a Peek at Pekar...

I dug out some of my Harvey Pekar books and comics on Monday night, and have been engrossed ever since. Not read some of these for a while, but within minutes his work was once again hitting the right spot, and making me think all over again.

Under the circumstances I found this short three page strip from 1978 (when Harvey was still in his late 30's) rather poignant, and thought I'd scan and share it.







This strip is a good example of his more thought provoking work. On one hand you can see why some people found his stuff 'boring', as on the face of it, I guess not a lot happens, yet on the other hand it speaks volumes (to me anyway).
Piley

13 comments:

Heff said...

Isn't it STRANGE how people do that after an "artist" passes ?

I remember I listened to Blizzard Of Oz and Dairy Of A Madman CONSTANTLY once I heard Randy Rhoads was killed....

I digress.

Just Jacqui said...

I enjoyed reading that, its quite dark yet carries a very clear message. I'm off to start planning my weekend!!

Mondo said...

You'll have to lend me some - I could go for more of this.

I know your not much of a tights and fights fan - but if you get the chance check out Blackest Night Director's Cut . A behind the scenes take on the script, art and writing. A great insight into the comics format.

Piley said...

Heff - yeah why DO we do that?! Weird! I guess there are so many things going on in your life that some things drop to the back a bit, even though ou've not gone off them. Alas it takes a bolt like this to remind you.

JJ - yeah, it made me think a bit too! He was quite a thinker was ol Harv!

Mondo - Glad you liked, will drop you a box full soon! I'm not anti-superhero Mondo, and I do enjoy some titles (and some writers or some titles), but I'll always gravitate back to real life stuff eventually.

P

Anonymous said...

Wow that's set me up for the day. Better read the Beano now to get back onside.

Warble

Cocktails said...

Mmm, probably not the most cheery way to kick off a Friday morning but IT'S ALL SO TRUE, SO TRUE... all these QUESTIONS... (and Horrible Histories is on tomorrow morning, hooray!)

Piley said...

Warble\Cocktails - Hmmm, sorry gang! Harvey's stuff is never going to send anyone away with a spring in their step I'm afraid! I just though with him passing this week, this strip was quite relevant.

He was certainly a thinker, but he did suffer from clinical depression, so there is a certain 'glass half empty' to a fair bit of his work (but not all)... hence the 'groucy' reputation.

Hope it hasn't ruined your weekends!

P

John Medd said...

I really like his style: his life after death speech is pure poetry. Is he still in print? I'll borrow them after Mondo!

Piley said...

Thanks JM, Believe it or not, over the years his style has been compared to Chekhov and Dostoevsky (although maybe a tad grumpier!). I'm really glad you liked that strip.

He's still in print, although there is no 'complete works' reprints as yet.

Amazon have a good selection, but try an pick up one called "American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar". A huge book that compiles two 'best of' volumes into 1 - some of his best stuff is in this one. If you get hooked there are two more really good 'best of' titles ('best of American Splendor' and 'The New American Splendor Anthology: From Off the Streets of Cleveland'), but I'd say that Life and Times one is a good starting point.

P

John Devlin said...

I liked that Piley - I loved the American Splendour film but strangely never checked out any more of his work. I will now though...

Piley said...

Nice one John, do let me know how you get on if you go for some... remember it's not all gold, but well worth looking in to.

Martin said...

Not something that you'd read to try and cheer yourself but I'm sure we've all had a few moments like this. Can't help feeling you'd need to be in a certain state of mind to fully appreciate this but good stuff all the same. I can feel another trip to Amazon coming on.

Anonymous said...

I think we've all had day's like the one Pekar was having in this strip. Like Heff says when some one we admire dies we return to thier work. I see it as a homage , i played a few Rainbow tracks real loud when Ronnie James Dio passed on. It's natural to want to celebarte thier fine work.

Carl.