Books, Thoughts

Off the Shelf: American Splendor: Another Day

American Splendor: Another DayAmerican Splendor: Another Day by Harvey Pekar

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up Another Day from my local library while on a graphic novel reading tear. Like many people, I knew about American Splendor mainly from the movie biopic & had always planned to get around to reading Pekar’s comics one day. Turns out that this collection is a great introduction to Pekar’s works. Another Day is a group of vignettes from every-day life that fill in the background info on Harvey, as well as showcase the quiet, detailed focus of his perspective. It’s also set decidedly after the movie has been made, so new readers starting here won’t be without any frame of reference.

These comics are about conversations with friends, personal realizations while waiting in line at the grocery store, Pekar’s take on the goals of local politics, the tribulation of home repairs and the satisfying companionship of cats. Reading these quick stories together has the same cumulative insight as reading a well-structured book of short stories: readers will find themselves slowly immersed in Pekar’s voice & his world. I also appreciated the fact that American Splendor, from what I can tell in this collection, seems to have the same sort of domestic or social concerns that usually are ascribed to certain female short story writers. Recommended to readers who, like me, are curious about American Splendor & are looking for a good way in.

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