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American Splendor: Another Dollar Paperback – January 13, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The most recent volume of Pekar's autobiographical anecdotes about the nonevents of his life is so self-reflexive it threatens to swallow its own tail. Pekar has been writing American Splendor comics for well over 30 years, but as they've become a bigger part of his life, they've also become the subject of more of his stories. Many of the several dozen short pieces here at least touch on the process of working on his comics—a few are even variations on the groan-worthy what am I going to write a story about? I know—I'll write about having to come up with a story! formula. The book's artists, as usual, are decent to excellent—Pekar's got a fine eye for collaborators. Darwyn Cooke and Rick Geary contribute stylish short strips, and The Boys artist Darick Robertson is a particularly good match with his fine-lined, detailed facial expressions. A few strips are prime Pekar, observant and witty, especially a David Lapham–drawn piece in which he's pleased to discover a hard-working, humane, knowledgeable barber; he's also starting to explore the physical difficulties of aging in some stories. Too often, though, this volume simply rambles, with Pekar casting himself as a grouch talking to himself about talking to himself. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

The retirement career as a comics and jazz commentator that Pekar posited in Another Day (2006) has proven elusive or, rather, as he allows herein, not lucrative enough to keep him from agreeing to script such nonfiction graphic novels as Macedonia (2007), Students for a Democratic Society (2008), and The Beats (forthcoming). Thank goodness, longtime fans must sigh, that he still does the comic book American Splendor, which made his name and launched that independent comics staple, autobiographical comics. In this roundup of the latest four AS issues, Pekar tackles issues facing any aging man—aches, pains, creakiness, forgetfulness—but also, despite his fabled (not least by himself) curmudgeonliness, some of the joys. In “Coventry,” he gets to recall his neighborhood of the 1970s. In “Bop Philosophy,” he gets to talk about jazz with a saxophonist friend. In “Global Warming,” he gets to play Jeremiah. Things get no better than stuff like that. Meanwhile, his artist collaborators these days (here, Darick Robertson, Hilary Barta, Rick Geary, Ty Templeton, among many others) give him their best every time. --Ray Olson

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Product Details

  • Series: American Splendor
  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo (January 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401221734
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401221737
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Brennan on February 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
This material was all published in four comics during the summer of 2008. Pekar fans will already have it! So don't get excited like me, buy it, sit down with a glass of milk at home thinking you are in for another rare and beautiful experience, you're not. In this respect I give 0 stars to the publisher, because nothing on the cover or back of the book says it is previously published material, only the fine print beneath the copyright. Like the guy who hyperventilated getting to ask President Obama a question at a Town Hall in Florida I was too excited, praising God and such about a new Pekar to look that far. I won't get fooled again, though, and will return it for store credit to put towards Pekar's Beat Generation book coming out in March.

The content of this book is outstanding, however. Pekar is back writing about what he knows best, himself. I've been reading him since 1980 and though he has become a big movie star I continue to be amazed at how his story is still really the story of all us everyfolk. These stories deal with how life is going for him following his fifteen minutes of fame in Hollywood. You'll see him deal with his car, like we all do, methods for dealing with fans who show up on his doorstep and won't leave, which none of us do, and watch as he debates how much pain is too much and ruminates upon the things he's done he's not proud of, while reminding us of all the terrible things he didn't do. Great stories, great art, great man. Buy the book, in fact I'm now considering keeping mine just to have it all in one handy volume, and because Harvey needs a few dollars more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Minnis on October 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As usual, Pekar is witty, curmudgeonly, humane beneath the gruff exterior, and full of fresh insight into the everyday human condition. It's such a pleasure to spend time in the presence of an artist with a unique point of view.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Another Dollar" is a collection of stories from Harvey Pekar's ongoing autobiographical series "American Splendor". In this book, he worries about not getting an asthma inhaler in time for his trip to Chicago. His wife tells him not to grunt when he lifts up a futon pad. He argues with artist Josh Neufeld about the way he drew his cat in a recent strip. He meets a new barber and worries that the barber might be no good (he's relieved when he is). A girl he recommended the book "Moby Dick" to invites him to her wedding years later - he worries about the cost of the ticket but reasons that at least he made an impression on someone.

Some stories are very meta. His publisher calls to ask him for a one page strip so he writes a one page strip about that phonecall. His friend calls asking him to contribute a strip for an anthology but Harv says he has nothing to write about. He writes about their phone call and the following conversation about jazz.

I like his use of the artists. For example, Darick Robertson, perhaps one of his generations most dynamic artists who's illustrated Transmetropolitan, The Boys, and The Authority, draws a strip where Harv's car gets jumpstarted by a receptionist.

Other fantastic artists who illustrate Harvey's stories are Darwyn Cooke, David Lapham, Rick Geary, Dean Haspiel, and Josh Neufeld. It's a really good looking collection of stories with a few full colour covers at the back of the book.

One story about Harv worrying about taxes turns into a story about having his car's bumper fixed. It's about as exciting a story as you'll find in these pages. And yet, every story here is fascinating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Jones on December 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As always, Harvey Pekar succeeds in showing the beauty that surrounds us ... if we only open our eyes and see it.
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