American Splendor

From Academic Kids

American Splendor is the autobiographical comic book series and graphic novels written by Harvey Pekar.

Pekar was one of the first writers to believe that everyday real life could be a vital a topic for comic books, traditionally the province fantasy-adventure and other genre stories. He began his series in 1976 while working as a file clerk at a Veteran's Administration hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, recruiting his friend and underground comics master Robert Crumb to help create a comics series based on Pekar's own life. A wide assortment of other artists, including Gary Dumm, Frank Stack and Joe Zabel, have also illustrated his stories, which are realistic and mostly true narratives dealing with the mundane troubles and frustrations of the everyday world.

The series gained him cult-fame and notoriety, especially after Pekar became a recurring guest on Late Night with David Letterman. In 2003 a movie adaptation featuring Paul Giamatti playing Pekar (as well as appearances by Pekar himself) and Hope Davis as his wife was released to critical acclaim and first honors at the Sundance Film Festival in addition to the award for best adapted screenplay from the Writer's Guild of America. It was written and directed by documentarists Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.

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