American Splendor

(2003)

Harvey Pekar is a Cleveland native, V.A. hospital file clerk, and hilariously grumpy observer of life's strange and unpredictable pageant. A comic book writer who writes about his everyday life as an omnivorous reader, jazz lover, obsessive-compulsive collector, and lousy housekeeper. A prickly poet of the mundane who knows that all the strategizing in the world can't save a guy from choosing the wrong supermarket checkout line. A regular Joe who pursues self-expression without self-censorship - and finds a grateful audience, critical admiration, and that most remarkable of happy endings, a loving family.

EXCLUSIVE: Harvey Pekar on AMERICAN SPLENDOR

So how does one face this most spectacular task of separating the real Harvey Pekar from the convincing figment on the screen? As it turns out, this wasn't so much of a challenge as they are pretty much the same.

Despite the fact that a major motion picture is being released based on Pekar's comics and that they were often critically acclaimed, somehow the American Splendor comic-book series never truly took off. "The comics never took off because they are alternative," explains Pekar. His comics are not the typical superhero stuff that teenage boys rush out to buy. At signings folks would look at him in confusion, curious as to what they were. So, they’d ask him what these strange creations were, often in less than polite terms. They never seemed particularly impressed.

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