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Comment: Pages are unmarked. Binding tight; spine straight and uncreased. Minor cover/ edge wear.
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Huntington, West Virginia "On the Fly" Paperback – April 26, 2011

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Huntington, West Virginia "On the Fly" + Harvey Pekar: Conversations (Conversations with Comic Artists Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A visit with Harvey Pekar . . . will cause you to reexamine your own life . . . just as the greatest literature will.”—Austin Chronicle

About the Author

Harvey Pekar, a native of Cleveland, is best known for his autobiographical slice-of-life comic book series American Splendor, a first person account of his downtrodden life. He is also a jazz critic whose reviews have been published in The Boston Herald, The Austin Chronicle, and Jazz Times. He has done freelance work for the critically acclaimed radio station WKSU and has appeared many times on Late Night with David Letterman.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; Original edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345499417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345499417
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,946,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Brennan on May 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's tough for me to award any effort by Harvey Pekar any less than five stars but today I'm biting the bullet and giving this effort but four. Don't get me wrong; Pekar is still the best there has been. I am in complete agreement with Anthony Bourdain's appreciation "the times he lived in cannot adequately be remembered without him (Pekar)." Somewhere along the line, however, Pekar seems to have lost some of the verve (except in the masterful "Neighborhood Spark Plug") for selecting and presenting the profundities of life's minutia. In this book he often appears to favor of a broad chronological overview of events. The book's first two stories exemplify this quality.

"Hollywood Bob" is certainly an interesting character but rather than offer a 26 page timeline of Bob's life wouldn't the old Harvey have been able portray one particular incident that would have been indicative of Bob's character and told his story with a more metaphorical grace? Same goes for "Tunc and Eileen: Their Ups and Downs." These are interesting and worthy people but Pekar seems to be lacking any meaningful interconnection with their lives. He is looking at them from afar. The writing becomes an aloof and journalistic "just the facts" "Dragnet" style. In comparison to such past masterpieces as American Splendor issues 3, 4, and 5, readers experience "Old Jewish Ladies in the Supermarket Lines," Mr. Boats, Rollins, and Freddy from his weekend visit (check out his supper with the Pekars in AS 5) far better from far fewer pages than they ever experience Hollywood Bob or Tunc and Eileen. These older vignettes are masterfully evocative of a character's identity, perhaps because of Pekar's close proximity and daily interaction with the individuals he's portraying.
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Format: Paperback
Harvey Pekar's work are the polar opposite of what most people imagine when thinking of comics. There are no superheroes or dramatic storylines, and no colour - Pekar wrote about ordinary people, usually living in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and their lives as well as his own life as a file clerk. This method can sometimes backfire as the peoples' stories can be at times a bit dull. "Eileen and Tunc" is a charming story of two people who found each other after somewhat difficult lives and are now planning on curating a comic book exhibition of Tunc's extensive comics collection. It's charming but a bit too ordinary to be interesting to read. Same goes for the story of the man who started a 50s style diner, went bust, sold it and started a comics/toy shop. Of the 3 ordinary people's stories, the first one, "Hollywood Bob" is the best about a wayward young man who lived a life of crime before turning it around by starting his own tyre business and moving into a successful limo service.

The best part of the book is the fourth and final story, also thankfully the longest, featuring "our man" Harvey as he embarks on a journey to a book festival in Huntington, West Virginia to give a talk about his work. Readers of "American Splendor" will know that such a trip inevitably entails delays and numerous gripes that Pekar will pick up and somehow make interesting for the reader despite their mundaneness, and that is the case here. Pekar searches for his daily stipend for food while filming a cameo in an independent film and buys a new pair of shoes: strange to say but this is genuinely riveting reading. It's a tribute to Pekar's writing and strong sense of storytelling that he's able to take these everyday events and make them interesting to the reader.
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By Jennifer on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Harvey's last book before his death, "On the Fly" is one of his best. The best part of the book to read is when he becomes involved in shooting an independent film in Huntington at a comic book store. Wish Harvey would have wrote more on that. Enjoyed the book, good read!
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