Booklist , December 15, 1996
AMERICAN SPLENDOR is hands down the best adult comic book and maybe the
best comic book, period, in the U.S. It is full of the adventures of Pekar
himself--a genuine working-class intellectual, a clerk in a government
hospital who on the side writes about jazz, the comics, and authors whose
work deserves renewed attention. He writes and storyboards the stories
and recruits professional comics artists to draw them. The most famous
of these is his longtime friend, Robert Crumb, dean of the 1960s "underground"
comics artists and subject of the extravagantly praised documentary film
The touchstones for the formal qualities and attitudes of these cartoon-illustrated
slices-of-life are the stories of such urban impressionists as Grace Paley
and Meyer Liben and the films of the French new wave directors, especially
Jean-Luc Godard and Eric Rohmer. Pekar and Crumb don't derive from those
artists, however; they are their peers.
1996, American Library Association. All rights reserved.