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American Splendor Presents: Bob and Harv's Comics

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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. 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.


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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. 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.

30 review for American Splendor Presents: Bob and Harv's Comics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    3.5 stars. As a fan of the film, "American Splendor," I was always interested in checking out Pekar's comics. This was not disappointing. I happened to come across this on GR. I thought I’d give it a shot. I have never read a comic book before, so I’m enjoying Pekar’s timeless slice-of-life humor. Reminds me of Seinfeld in print. 3.5 stars. As a fan of the film, "American Splendor," I was always interested in checking out Pekar's comics. This was not disappointing. I happened to come across this on GR. I thought I’d give it a shot. I have never read a comic book before, so I’m enjoying Pekar’s timeless slice-of-life humor. Reminds me of Seinfeld in print.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chad Jordahl

    Pekar + Crumb = perfect fit

  3. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Jiménez

    Las historias de Harvey Pekar tienen algo que te hacen sentir cercano a la vida, a lo que pasa comúnmente en esta. Quizá esto sea por su carácter meramente realista —sin meterse en que si lo que se cuenta es completamente verídico o no. Aunque(según) afirman los autores que así es—, en la manera de afrontar cada situación. Pues si bien están omitidas partes esenciales de una narración —como el clímax o la consecuencia-final definido— cada historia tiene fuerza y sobresale por si misma. En algún r Las historias de Harvey Pekar tienen algo que te hacen sentir cercano a la vida, a lo que pasa comúnmente en esta. Quizá esto sea por su carácter meramente realista —sin meterse en que si lo que se cuenta es completamente verídico o no. Aunque(según) afirman los autores que así es—, en la manera de afrontar cada situación. Pues si bien están omitidas partes esenciales de una narración —como el clímax o la consecuencia-final definido— cada historia tiene fuerza y sobresale por si misma. En algún relato, me di cuenta del agrado que resulta leer vida común —no vida real. Esta parece ir más por problemas del entorno, situaciones tope de la vida, violencia, drogas, sexo, etc.— a través de historias. Porque quien escribió esto que ahora leo era un tipo que cada día debía salir de su casa a trabajar en algo que no le gustaba, iba a la panadería por su pan y en la calle se encontraba con personas disparatadas: alguien como cualquiera otra persona. De un escritor, creo se tiene cualquier imagen menos esta. Pero es precisamente esa vida corriente y un tanto agobiada la que hace que su manera de ver el mundo sea única y por consiguiente, sus historias. El mismo Harvey Pekar lo menciona magistralmente en —a mi parecer— uno de los mejores números de esta serie: "Dilema Moral". De las ilustraciones, decir que los dibujos de Robert Crumb(con trazos oscuros, desesperados, agobiados, neuróticos y extraños) vienen a complementar atinadamente lo que hace Pekar. Insisto, las historias de Harvey Pekar son especiales e incluso imprescindibles para quien guste de estas narraciones. Te cambia la noción sobre estas y te deja con sensaciones después de leerlas, pensando. Sí, quizá no sean las mejores pero sí lo es su propósito y actitud ante ellas.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Over the years, I've read occasional comics by R. Crumb, but this was my first time reading anything by his frequent collaborator, writer Harvey Pekar, creator of the "American Splendor" comics. Pekar devotes most of his strips to slice-of-life tales of working as a government file clerk, listening to jazz music, and living a lower middle class life in Cleveland, a city long on the decline. You've got to love any comic book that attempts to grab readers, as "American Splendor" did, with such cov Over the years, I've read occasional comics by R. Crumb, but this was my first time reading anything by his frequent collaborator, writer Harvey Pekar, creator of the "American Splendor" comics. Pekar devotes most of his strips to slice-of-life tales of working as a government file clerk, listening to jazz music, and living a lower middle class life in Cleveland, a city long on the decline. You've got to love any comic book that attempts to grab readers, as "American Splendor" did, with such cover tag-lines as "In This Issue: Stories About Record Collecting and Working" and "In This Issue: Stories About Sickness and Old People." The autobiographical tales in "Bob & Harv's Comics" frequently focus on Pekar's struggles to get his comics published and achieve wider recognition for his work. (Most of the comics collected here are from the late 1970s and early '80s, long before the 2003 "American Splendor" movie made Pekar at least a little bit famous for a brief time.) Those stories focused on writing and publishing comics tend to teeter back and forth between self-aggrandizement -- self-aware self-aggrandizement, but self-aggrandizement nonetheless -- and anger on Pekar's part, feelings certainly familiar to any writer or artist who's labored for years for recognition. It's easy to see why Pekar is so well-loved among comic aficionados. (Having R. Crumb as a collaborator certainly doesn't hurt, of course.) The book's only shortcoming? I wish it were longer.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Gasques

    Parceria entre dois artistas do underground que resultou numa das melhores fases da revista American Splendor. Harvey Pekar trabalhava como arquivista em um hospital de Cleveland (EUA) e faturava alguns trocados negociando discos raros de jazz, sua paixão. Propõe ao cartunista Robert Crumb desenhar suas histórias, algumas reunidas nessa publicação sobre "dois anti-heróis americanos". Se o traço de Crumb se caracteriza pelo estilo psicodélico e surrealista, os roteiros de Pekar são lacônicos e ret Parceria entre dois artistas do underground que resultou numa das melhores fases da revista American Splendor. Harvey Pekar trabalhava como arquivista em um hospital de Cleveland (EUA) e faturava alguns trocados negociando discos raros de jazz, sua paixão. Propõe ao cartunista Robert Crumb desenhar suas histórias, algumas reunidas nessa publicação sobre "dois anti-heróis americanos". Se o traço de Crumb se caracteriza pelo estilo psicodélico e surrealista, os roteiros de Pekar são lacônicos e retratam situações absolutamente banais do cotidiano. Os dois artistas fazem parte de várias histórias, envolvidos com personagens curiosos e pessoas da contracultura. Tem narrativa que termina quando mal começou, o que faz pensar: "Mas não é assim mesmo?"

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eve Kay

    I like Pekar's topics, how he makes comics about real life and the working class. How Cleveland seems like such a dreary place but at the same time like any other place I know. There is so much to relate to. I relate to Pekar. I especially liked how at the end he was contemplating whether or not his writing would be the same if he didn't go to work every day. Just one of the many things I think about only every day (only, in terms of me, not Pekar)! Crumb's drawing is excellent too btw. I like Pekar's topics, how he makes comics about real life and the working class. How Cleveland seems like such a dreary place but at the same time like any other place I know. There is so much to relate to. I relate to Pekar. I especially liked how at the end he was contemplating whether or not his writing would be the same if he didn't go to work every day. Just one of the many things I think about only every day (only, in terms of me, not Pekar)! Crumb's drawing is excellent too btw.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    In reading this book, I've taken my first step into reading comic books and it couldn't have been a better place to start. Harvey Pekar's work is so simple and slice of life and I love it. It makes normal living seem more relevant in some way. The humor is subtle which makes it more enjoyable. His stories remind me of a Bukowski book minus the drinking and sex. Very working class. Awesome. In reading this book, I've taken my first step into reading comic books and it couldn't have been a better place to start. Harvey Pekar's work is so simple and slice of life and I love it. It makes normal living seem more relevant in some way. The humor is subtle which makes it more enjoyable. His stories remind me of a Bukowski book minus the drinking and sex. Very working class. Awesome.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gonzalo Oyanedel

    De todos los artistas que colaboraron con Harvey Pekar, acaso sea Robert Crumb quien traspasó mejor sus guiones gracias a ese trazo intenso y vigoroso que le dio popularidad. Historias breves sobre episodios sencillos hacen de Cleveland un microuniverso familiar, donde las visiones cotidianas de Harv y sus personajes se hacen cercanas al lector más despierto. Uno de los mayores títulos del Slice of Life estadounidense.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lacy

    Dynamic duo, I tell you what.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Keith2314

    Published in 1996. I watched the 'Crumb' and 'American Splendor' documentaries and then borrowed 'American Splendor Presents Bob and Harv’s Comics' from my local public library via interlibrary loan. 'Bob and Harv’s' is a collection of early early American Splendor comics illustrated by underground comic artist Robert Crumb. The content consists of everyday life personal and life stories of the author. The story is not dramatic or romantic. The appeal of the stories comes from the colorful charact Published in 1996. I watched the 'Crumb' and 'American Splendor' documentaries and then borrowed 'American Splendor Presents Bob and Harv’s Comics' from my local public library via interlibrary loan. 'Bob and Harv’s' is a collection of early early American Splendor comics illustrated by underground comic artist Robert Crumb. The content consists of everyday life personal and life stories of the author. The story is not dramatic or romantic. The appeal of the stories comes from the colorful characters like Mr. Lopes, Rollins, and Harvey Pekar in comic form - all drawn in Crumb’s identifiable style. Crumb makes the characters look like they are from an O’Henry story - harmless, sweet, unsophisticated country bumpkins of a bygone era. The facial expressions on the characters, although simple looking, are amazingly expressive. Like other artists, Crumb is often referred to as talented or genius. When I look closely at these drawings, I can see a lot of ink in the page in the shape of crosshatching, motion lines, and backgrounds. Robert Crumb had be be diligent and spend a lot of time on these works. The stories in 'Bob and Harv’s' are appealing in how they show everyday life and conversation. I found Pekar’s phonetic rendering of African American English clever and authentic. Despite some profanity, I was not surprised, shocked, or offended like I’d been after reading some “traditional” Crumb comics - 'Joe Blow', 'The Adventures of Dicknose', and 'Eggs Ackley among the Vulture Demonesses'. The stories and artwork make “American Splendor Presents Bob and Harv’s Comics” appealing for high school and older.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    I've read several of Pekar's collection's at this point, and for some reason this one has stood out to me as the most enjoyable. Though I've often complained about the meandering nature of the stories he tells, and this book is not different in that respect, it didn't bother me this time around. Maybe it's because I've finally learned that the best way to read these is just a few pages at a time here and there. The pieces collected here range across a big time-span, from as early as the 1970s up I've read several of Pekar's collection's at this point, and for some reason this one has stood out to me as the most enjoyable. Though I've often complained about the meandering nature of the stories he tells, and this book is not different in that respect, it didn't bother me this time around. Maybe it's because I've finally learned that the best way to read these is just a few pages at a time here and there. The pieces collected here range across a big time-span, from as early as the 1970s up until the 1990s. I'm not sure if it is a complete collection of his collaborations with well-known comics artist Robert Crumb, but is surely includes the large bulk of them. Other reviewers have mentioned that some of these pieces also appear in his previous collections, though these reviewers have better memories than me because I couldn't recall seeing any of them before. The stories are about normal life in Cleveland: working, record collecting, grousing about why Pekar's work isn't more widely known, and illustrations of conversations Pekar has with various people. As you'd expect, Crumb's artwork is very good throughout as well. It's among Pekar's best work: a great comic and, what the hell, just a great book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Felipe Arango Betancourt

    Estas viñetas reúnen en su totalidad la colaboración que Robert Crumb hizo a los guiones de Harvey Pekar para su American Splendor, la mejor simbiosis entre el carácter ácido de Pekar y el trazo vigoroso de Crumb. Primera y única vez que los dibujos de Crumb están por fuera de su obra. 
Estos  comics son la historia de dos tipos que se conocen y se unen por cosas en común: el amor a los cómics y el coleccionismo de discos antiguos de jazz. Es este el inicio de una próspera y productiva amistad, e Estas viñetas reúnen en su totalidad la colaboración que Robert Crumb hizo a los guiones de Harvey Pekar para su American Splendor, la mejor simbiosis entre el carácter ácido de Pekar y el trazo vigoroso de Crumb. Primera y única vez que los dibujos de Crumb están por fuera de su obra. 
Estos  comics son la historia de dos tipos que se conocen y se unen por cosas en común: el amor a los cómics y el coleccionismo de discos antiguos de jazz. Es este el inicio de una próspera y productiva amistad, en lo que respecta al cómic underground y autobiográfico.
 Las viñetas son pequeñas instantáneas, donde la verdad no pasa mucho, donde hay más texto que dibujos, creando un equilibrio exacto y justo, fiel reflejo de una cotidianidad lúgubre y enfermiza. Acá la vida no se decora, no se infla, pasa exactamente como sucede. Los temas irrelevantes e intrascendentes, tal cual como pasa el día a día: un almuerzo en el trabajo, una conversación cualquiera en cualquier momento muerto del día. La preocupación agobiante de no poder conseguir un nuevo disco de jazz. La gris cotidianidad en todo su esplendor.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    This is a slim collection of stories by Harvey Pekar illustrated by Robert Crumb. It's a great book to read if you're interested in Pekar, but don't want to tackle one of the larger American Splendor collections, plus you get the great art by Crumb. There are stories about collecting records, writing comics, working and neighborhood characters. This is the art of the mundane. This is a slim collection of stories by Harvey Pekar illustrated by Robert Crumb. It's a great book to read if you're interested in Pekar, but don't want to tackle one of the larger American Splendor collections, plus you get the great art by Crumb. There are stories about collecting records, writing comics, working and neighborhood characters. This is the art of the mundane.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Justin Matulonis

    A lot of very funny stories. The movie changed a lot of stories it seems.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Antonio

    Harvey Pekar has OCD, I’m sure.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michael Smith

    I’ve been a fan of Robert Crumb’s grungy style of art since the early 1970s, but I didn’t discover Pekar until about 1990. Having seen the efforts of numerous artists to render his writing into pictures, Crumb gave me the image I carry in my head of what Pekar is really like. I recently heard him interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR, and I could definitely visualize Pekar-out-of-Crumb sitting there in the studio, yup. I’ve heard friends put down American Splendor because most of the stories have no I’ve been a fan of Robert Crumb’s grungy style of art since the early 1970s, but I didn’t discover Pekar until about 1990. Having seen the efforts of numerous artists to render his writing into pictures, Crumb gave me the image I carry in my head of what Pekar is really like. I recently heard him interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR, and I could definitely visualize Pekar-out-of-Crumb sitting there in the studio, yup. I’ve heard friends put down American Splendor because most of the stories have no “plot” -- which is true, of course. Some of these things are actual narratives (how the author finally escaped his collecting addiction is good) but others are merely vignettes. So, no superheroes here, no headlong action. Just very ordinary people whom Pekar comes across in his daily routine as a government file clerk and jazz record collector, and whom I (usually) find fascinating. Mr. Boats, especially, cracks me up. So does “Hospital Fun.” Good writing + good art = good book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yair Ben-Zvi

    The only reason this doesn't get a higher score is because a decent chunk of the stories are reprints from previous american splendor collections (or maybe I read them out of order?). In either case it doesn't really matter, Pekar's stories and R. Crumb's art (as well as the other great talents!) are more than worth seeing multiple times. I'm biased (huge Harvey Pekar fan) so when I say the stories outshine the art you'll see where I'm coming from. Pekar writes stories of everyday life that can The only reason this doesn't get a higher score is because a decent chunk of the stories are reprints from previous american splendor collections (or maybe I read them out of order?). In either case it doesn't really matter, Pekar's stories and R. Crumb's art (as well as the other great talents!) are more than worth seeing multiple times. I'm biased (huge Harvey Pekar fan) so when I say the stories outshine the art you'll see where I'm coming from. Pekar writes stories of everyday life that can be so heavy, so bold, innocuous and warm, cold and unfeeling, that every story feels like jazz piece that starts humble but takes you through the different stages of a lifetime, all through the lens of a single man in cleveland in the 1970's and 80's. A great collection to go along with all other Pekar collections.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Bob & Harv's Comics collects R. Crumb and Harvey Pekar's work together between the years of 1976-1988 and formed a good deal of material used in the American Splendor movie. Although dozens of artists have captured Harvey Pekar through the years, no one can top R. Crumb's rendering of the working class wild man himself. Each pic of Pekar makes him look more manic and irritable than the last one, fixing both Mr. Crumb and even us with an intense blank stare. The big surprise of the collection, how Bob & Harv's Comics collects R. Crumb and Harvey Pekar's work together between the years of 1976-1988 and formed a good deal of material used in the American Splendor movie. Although dozens of artists have captured Harvey Pekar through the years, no one can top R. Crumb's rendering of the working class wild man himself. Each pic of Pekar makes him look more manic and irritable than the last one, fixing both Mr. Crumb and even us with an intense blank stare. The big surprise of the collection, however, is their excellent portraits of working class black people just trying to get by with their jobs. Characters like Rollins and Mr. Boats are unforgettable, and just reading these brilliantly vivid vignettes are the real crown jewel of the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    The stories of Harvey Pekar are more "slice of a mundane life" than true memoir or autobiography. These are short tales of an everyman working class stiff who is not exactly unhappy but not truly happy either. The artwork of Robert Crumb brings these vignettes to life and adds depth to the experience. Fascinating and compelling and not at all exciting. Still worth a glance, though, for anyone interested in telling stories in a graphic medium. The stories of Harvey Pekar are more "slice of a mundane life" than true memoir or autobiography. These are short tales of an everyman working class stiff who is not exactly unhappy but not truly happy either. The artwork of Robert Crumb brings these vignettes to life and adds depth to the experience. Fascinating and compelling and not at all exciting. Still worth a glance, though, for anyone interested in telling stories in a graphic medium.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    If you're a fan of R. Crumb and/or Harvey Pekar then you'll probably like this book. It seems to be a random collection of pieces over a period of time; none of them really have anything to do with the other. If you're a fan, you probably already have this or have read it. If you're not, it's short and probably a decent introduction to these guys. If you're a fan of R. Crumb and/or Harvey Pekar then you'll probably like this book. It seems to be a random collection of pieces over a period of time; none of them really have anything to do with the other. If you're a fan, you probably already have this or have read it. If you're not, it's short and probably a decent introduction to these guys.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    This book gathers together the Pekar stories illustrated by Crumb. Very nice, but don't buy this, if you already have the collection with Paul Giamatti on the cover, for most of the stories can be found in both. This book gathers together the Pekar stories illustrated by Crumb. Very nice, but don't buy this, if you already have the collection with Paul Giamatti on the cover, for most of the stories can be found in both.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pan

    really great stuff...kinda weird at first because there's no real comedy or drama going on, but the characters are just everyday people doing everyday things surrounded by everyday frustrations. inspiring work! also, you gotta love r. crumb's art. 4.5 stars really great stuff...kinda weird at first because there's no real comedy or drama going on, but the characters are just everyday people doing everyday things surrounded by everyday frustrations. inspiring work! also, you gotta love r. crumb's art. 4.5 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul Young

    Can't go wrong with Pekar & Crumb. Nice collection Can't go wrong with Pekar & Crumb. Nice collection

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Kubasek

    Great collection.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pablo

    Harvey Pekar y su inigualable talento para contar historias en las que no pasa nada pero que entretienen en la pluma de Crumbs.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Thomas

    I was inspired to read this by the movie American Splendor - I like the everyday life comic strip tales from Cleveland.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Deodand

    Pekar and Crumb give characters an earthy quality. I can feel the time and care that went into these comics. This attention to detail is sadly missing in most other works.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abraham

    How could you not love this stuff?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julian Watson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elonex

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