Well researched and earnest, this book might work best as a superficial Cliffs Notes on the beats, but in no way does it inspire or open the mind as the works of the authors covered do. Much of this volume feels like leftovers from coauthor Pekar's American Splendor, and one wonders if that magazine's "drab and normal" style of illustration is appropriate for the more adventurous/experimental/flamboyant beats. Nor does it help that the art used on the best-known authors (Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs) feels rushed, with little detail and little variation. Because Joyce Brabner's script about "Beatnik Chicks" takes a genuinely critical eye to an aspect of the beats others prefer to ignore—their rampant sexism— it's probably the best and most passionate writing in the collection, with Jerome Neukirch's art for the bio of proto-beat Slim Brundage being the artistic standout illustrations. Lance Tooks, Peter Kuper and Nick Thorkelson also make strong contributions, while Jeffrey Lewis's story on poet/musician Tuli Kupferberg is a wonderful puzzle piece to work through; it's the most ambitious entry and may be the truest to the artistic vision of the beats themselves. (Mar.)
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Grade 10 Up–Buhle has brought together a heady group of writers and artists to create a well-informed, engaging, and dynamic presentation of the core precursors and descendants of the Beat ethos in both literary and popular American life. The first half of the volume, drawn by Piskor, interweaves the development, achievements, and interactions of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and, to a lesser degree, William S. Burroughs. Details such as Kerouac's left-handedness and Ginsberg's changing physique across his life span are shown, while snippets from their writings are suitably incorporated into the text, which is both discursive and critical. The remainder of the volume comprises 22 pieces, most by Pekar, exploring related figures, like Michael McClure and Lawrence Ferlinghetti; contemporaries whose personal circumstances varied enough from the core of Beats to demand artistic and life expressions that differed from the canonical Beat identity, including LeRoi Jones, Diane di Prima, and Kenneth Patchen; and related arts including visual and jazz. Joyce Brabner, Trina Robbins, Peter Kuper, and Lance Tooks are among the 17 contributors to the volume, which belongs in every library where any Beat literature has a home. This is a perfect gateway to both the art and the era for today's teens to access the Beat world.–Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia END --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Interesting for graphic novel nerds. Lots to follow in these pages but funPublished 1 month ago by Max
The beats were the most anti-establishment artistic movement of the mid-twentieth century-- until the survivors mostly joined the academic establishment in the late twentieth... Read morePublished 13 months ago by A Customer
If you're a fan of the Beats (and I can't think of anyone else who'd buy this), I can't see how you'd be anything other disappointed. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Darren Parker
This is actually two books. The first part is the Harvey Pekar's take on the Beats with the bulk of it devoted to Kerouac, Ginzberg and Burroughs. Read morePublished on March 14, 2013 by Loves the View
I bought this in a wave of re-discovering Burroughs. At least this book didn't use modern sensibilities to wash over Burroughs. Can't believe all the apologists out there. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Harvey Pekar presents a brief introduction to the artistic movement from the mid-20th century known as The Beats, focusing on the three major writers of this movement: Jack... Read morePublished on May 7, 2012 by Sam Quixote
This is a really enjoyable, boiler-plate history of the Beats. The main focus for the first 100 pages is on Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs. Read morePublished on March 27, 2012 by jafrank
I loved this crazy graphic novel that hits on Beat culture right between the eyes. It is a brilliant collage presented with style and originality. Read morePublished on February 24, 2012 by Rocketman Ray
Reads like a 10th grade history report. A coworker and I have exchanged a few graphic novels and this was the latest. As someone who wasn't really interested in beat lit. Read morePublished on August 16, 2011 by J. A!