Best Selling Books by Harvey Pekar

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release date: Apr 28, 2009
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Studs Terkel's Working: A Graphic Adaptation
"Working has been a book, a radio drama, a Broadway musical, and now a gripping graphic novel. I can't speak for Studs, but I suspect he would have been tickled to see it adapted by a former government file clerk and wage slave, who knows all about working." --Roger Ebert

In the thirty-five years since Pulitzer Prize-winner Studs Terkel's Working was first published, it has captivated millions of readers with lyrical and heartbreaking accounts of how their fellow citizens earn a living. Widely regarded as a masterpiece of words, it is now adapted into comic book form by comics legend Harvey Pekar, the blue-collar antihero of his American Book Award-winning comics series American Splendor.

In Studs Terkel's Working, Pekar offers a brilliant visual adaptation of Terkel's verbatim interviews, collaborating with both established comics veterans and some of the comic underground's brightest new talent. Here are riveting accounts of the lives of ordinary Americans--farmers, miners, barbers, hookers, box boys, stockbrokers--depicted with unsurpassed dignity and frankness. A visual treat with a visceral impact, Studs Terkel's Working will delight Terkel fans everywhere, and introduce his most powerful work to a new generation.

release date: Aug 08, 2017
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Harvey Pekar's Cleveland
A lifelong Cleveland resident, Harvey Pekar (1939-2010) pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the mundane for magic since 1976 in his ongoing American Splendor series. Harvey Pekar''s Cleveland is sadly one of his last, but happily one of his most definitive graphic novels. It combines classic American Splendor autobiographical anecdotes with key moments and characters in the city''s history as relayed to us by Our Man and meticulously researched and rendered by artist Joseph Remnant. With an introduction by Alan Moore too boot!
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release date: Jan 22, 1993
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The New American Splendor Anthology: From Off the Streets of Cleveland
American Splendor is the series that sparked a revolution in comics and brought graphic novels to the attention of post-adolescent readers everywhere. Here is the best of American Splendor and other comics by Harvey Pekar, including never-before-seen material.
release date: Apr 13, 2010
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The Beats: A Graphic History

In The Beats: A Graphic History, those who were mad to live have come back to life through artwork as vibrant as the Beat movement itself. Told by the comic legend Harvey Pekar, his frequent artistic collaborator Ed Piskor, and a range of artists and writers, including the feminist comic creator Trina Robbins and the Mad magazine artist Peter Kuper, The Beats takes us on a wild tour of a generation that, in the face of mainstream American conformity and conservatism, became known for its determined uprootedness, aggressive addictions, and startling creativity and experimentation.

What began among a small circle of friends in New York and San Francisco during the late 1940s and early 1950s laid the groundwork for a literary explosion, and this striking anthology captures the storied era in all its incarnations―from the Benzedrine-fueled antics of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs to the painting sessions of Jay DeFeo's disheveled studio, from the jazz hipsters to the beatnik chicks, from Chicago's College of Complexes to San Francisco's famed City Lights bookstore. Snapshots of lesser-known poets and writers sit alongside frank and compelling looks at the Beats' most recognizable faces. What emerges is a brilliant collage of―and tribute to―a generation, in a form and style that is as original as its subject.

release date: Jul 29, 2003
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American Splendor and More American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar
The inspiration for the award-winning movie
from HBO Films and Fine Line Features

AMERICAN SPLENDOR
The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar

Two classic comic anthologies in one volume

Stories by Harvey Pekar

Introduction by R. Crumb

Art by Kevin Brown, Gregory Budgett, Sean Carroll, Sue Cavey, R. Crumb, Gary Dumm, Val Mayerik, and Gerry Shamray

The classic collection of the comics that inspired the movie American Splendor, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival

American Splendor is the world’s first literary comic book. Cleveland native Harvey Pekar is a true American original. A V.A. hospital file clerk and comic book writer, Harvey chronicles the ordinary and mundane in stories both funny and touching. His dead-on eye for the frustrations and minutiae of the workaday world mix in a delicate balance with his insight into personal relationships. Pekar has been compared to Dreiser, Dostoevsky, and Lenny Bruce. But he is truly more than all of them—he is himself.

“Mr. Pekar has . . . proven that comics can address the ambiguities of daily living, that like the finest fiction, they can hold a mirror up to life.”
The New York Times

“[Pekar] has a vision that makes daily city life—a ride on the bus, a run-in with a boss, or simply buying bread—dramatic.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“Simply stated, American Splendor is the most superb literary endeavor to come off the streets of Cleveland in decades.”
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

“Mr. Pekar lets all of life flood into his panels: the humdrum and the heroic, the gritty and the grand.”
The New York Times Book Review
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release date: Jul 20, 2010
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FDR and the New Deal For Beginners

A profusely illustrated, popularly-written volume with original comic art, FDR and the New Deal For Beginners will shed new light upon a story now regaining visibility thanks to the recent economic crisis and prominent reformer, President Obama, in the White House.

The history of the precedent-making FDR administration through the bitter economic depression, with expansive programs empowering artists and working people, comes alive as the grandest social experiment in the history of American democracy. For the first time, the lives of the president, the first lady and the ordinary people of the time will be seen through an inventive comic narrative accompanying historic illustrations and a sympathetic but not uncritical text.

release date: Jan 25, 2005
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Best of American Splendor
Experience the heartwarming all-American story of a crank and his comic book.

What’s a file clerk from Cleveland doing with an Oscar nomination? How did a movie about Harvey Pekar win the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival? The story begins in 1976, when Harvey began publishing his autobiographical, slice-of-downtrodden-life comic book series American Splendor, illustrated by a who’s who of underground comic artists, including R. Crumb, Kevin Brown, Greg Budgett, Sean Carroll, Sue Cavey, Gary Dumm, Val Mayerik, and Gerry Shamray. After self-publishing American Splendor for nearly two decades under less than splendid conditions (and racking impressive accolades in the process), Harvey finally got a break when Dark Horse Comics took over the publication in the early 1990s. It was an opportunity for Harvey to reach a wider audience–which, as it turned out, included a few Hollywood types, too. (Who knew?) But that’s another story. . . .

Now we are happy to bring you the Best of American Splendor, a collection of some of Harvey’s greatest work. Harvey Pekar has been compared to Theodore Dreiser, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Lenny Bruce, but this collection is a true American original. Just like Harvey.
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release date: Oct 13, 1994
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Our Cancer Year
It was they year of Desert Storm that Harvey Pekar and his wife, Joyce Brabner, discovered Harvey had cancer. Pekar, a man who has made a profession of chronicling the Kafkaesque absurdities of an ordinary life (if any life is ordinary) suddenly found himself incapacitated. But he had a better-than-average chance to beat cancer and he took it — kicking, screaming, and complaining all the way. Pekar and Brabner draw on this and other trials to paint a portrait of a man beset with fears real and imagined — who survives.
release date: Apr 11, 2006
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Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story
“Michael Malice is one of the most puzzling twenty-first century Americans I have ever met.”
–Harvey Pekar

Who’s Michael Malice, and how did he become the subject of a graphic novel by Harvey Pekar, the curmudgeon from Cleveland?

First of all, Michael Malice is a real person. He’s 5’6” and weighs 130 pounds. Although on the cusp of thirty, he could easily pass for a scrawny teenager.

One day Michael, a guy with a patchwork employment record and dreams as big as his ego, meets Harvey and begins to relay all these wild stories about his life. Simple as that. Harvey thinks the guy is bright but a bit of a riddle–though not the kind wrapped in an enigma. It’s strange. He seems like the type of person you meet every day, rather ordinary, until you really get to know him. Then you realize he’s exceptional, unusual, and contradictory. Pleasant one minute, really nasty the next. But isn’t cruelty part of human nature? We digress. . . .

Harvey writes up and illustrates one of Michael Malice’s tales, “Fish Story,” which is part of American Splendor: Our Movie Year. It makes a splash and spawns this book, Harvey’s first hardcover, a graphic novel event about one guy’s life.

Ego & Hubris relates how, a year and a half after his birth in the Ukraine, Michael Malice moved with his parents to Brooklyn. He’s an intransigent kid, a hard-ass–both a demon to and demonized by the people who cross his path. His life is a constant struggle for validation in a world where the machine keeps trying to break him down. But Michael has a way with people . . . or rather, has a way of getting even with people. Hey, if you can’t live up to your parents’ expectations, at least you can live up to your name.

Michael had never come close to fulfilling his huge dreams–until now. And just as Harvey’s been the everyman for a certain generation of graphic-novel readers, Michael Malice will be the everyman for a new generation.
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release date: Sep 10, 2008
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From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books
Jews created the first comic book, the first graphic novel, the first comic book convention, the first comic book specialty store, and they helped create the underground comics (or “Comix”) movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Many of the creators of the most famous comic books, such as Superman, Spiderman, X-Men, and Batman, as well as the founders of MAD magazine, were Jewish. From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books tells their stories and demonstrates how they brought a uniquely Jewish perspective to their work and to the comics industry as a whole. Over-sized and in full color, From Krakow to Krypton is filled with sidebars, cartoon bubbles, comic book graphics, original design sketches, and photographs. It is a visually stunning and exhilarating history.
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