Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
The padding is some of the best stuff!
on March 23, 2006
I got a big kick out of the "American Splendor" movie. In addition to being a fun flick, it brought Pekar some well-deserved attention. It was nice to see him get interviews and a chance to travel around.
It was pretty much a sure thing, then, that I would buy "Our Movie Year," a comeek about Pekar's brush with fame.
Well . . . I'm not sorry I bought the book, but it's a mixed bag.
Here's the disappointing part: Unlike "Our Cancer Year," this isn't a single story book, planned from the beginning, or even a collection of original short pieces. It is a compilation of dozens of short pieces, apparently reprinted from magazines and Harvey's own comic. This would be OK, but in many cases they cover the same events. Some are reprises of how Harvey came to write autobiographical comics . . . a story well known to anyone who has read the earlier "American Splendor" anthologies. Sure, in some cases the material is told from a different angle, or in more detail. For example, Harvey's reprisal of his rocky relationship with David Letterman is more honest and introspective.
What really made this book worth buying was what might be considered padding, totally unrelated to the events surrounding the movie: Short illustrated pieces on famous authors, jazz legends, and other cultural items. Items like these are how Harvey earns his living, and it was really neat to see them. In addition to being interesting in their own right, they show that Pekar can more than "stories about nothing."
I give this one a thumbs up, and would especially recommend it to those who haven't read any of Pekar's other books.