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Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned Paperback – September 6, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Without the third season of MTV's The Real World, set in San Francisco, Pedro Zamora would have lived and died quietly, a Cuban immigrant who became an AIDS educator after his HIV diagnosis at the age of 17. But in 1993, he and seven others were selected for the cast of The Real World, and Pedro's battle with AIDS, his irrepressible good nature, his love affair with Sean Sasser, and his growing friendship with his housemates would become public knowledge. When Pedro succumbed to complications of AIDS in November 1994, news of his death was carried on every major network and made international headlines. Thousands of letters arrived from around the world. Even President Clinton applauded Pedro's bravery in speaking out to young people about AIDS prevention and self-esteem. Judd Winick, a struggling cartoonist, had also been chosen for that season of The Real World, and became Pedro's roommate and close friend. His cartoon memoir tells the story of their friendship and serves as a vivid memorial to a bright-eyed and gifted man who made more of his 22 years of life than most of us could make of 80. --Regina Marler

From Publishers Weekly

In this powerful and captivating graphic novel, Winick, a professional cartoonist and cast member of MTV's The Real World 3: San Francisco, pays tribute to his Real World housemate and friend Pedro Zamora, an AIDS activist and educator who died of the disease in 1994. Striking just the right balance of cool and forthrightness sure to attract a broad cross section of teens, twenty-somethings and beyond, Winick describes the special bond he developed with Zamora and shares some of his own journey to enlightenment about AIDS awareness. From Winick's initial preconceptions about the disease to the ultimate moments of heartbreaking loss, the author bravely invites readers into a life-altering experience. The result is never mawkish: Winick speaks of his friend not with otherworldly awe, but with palpable love and warmth and profound admiration. Readers unfamiliar with the graphic novel genre would do well to start with this title. Winick imbues deceptively simple black-and-white comic-strip art with a full spectrum of emotion, and his approach is particularly adept at conveying Zamora's mind-set; for instance, a series of partial views of Zamora driving, just after he's received the news that he's HIV positive, communicates Zamora's anxiety and confusion. Throughout, Winick depicts Zamora as a vital force, a tireless teacher using frank language to relate facts about how people contract the virus that causes AIDS, how they can prevent it and how they can live with it. An innovative and accessible approach to a difficult subject. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); Gph edition (September 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805064036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805064032
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,443,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a fan of MTV's The Real World, I grabbed up Pedro and Me as soon as I saw it, and read it cover to cover. It is a very sweet tribute to a friend. For those of you who don't know, Pedro Zamora was one of the cast of MTV's The Real World 3 in San Francisco. Pedro was an AIDS educator and very open about the fact that he was living with AIDS. He died shortly after the show aired. Judd Winick, the author, was also a cast member.
Judd Winick is a cartoonist, so the story is told in a comic book format. Though a bit too sentimental at times, and certainly a tear-jerker, Pedro and Me seems to be a sincere and realistic depiction of Judd Winick and Pedro Zamora's lives, their experiences with instant celebrity, and the ways in which HIV and AIDS affect peoples lives. In addition to some behind the scenes information about the filming of The Real World, you also get background information about Pedro and Judd's childhoods as well as an update of what has happened since. If you were a fan of Real World 3, San Fancisco, I wholeheartedly recommend Pedro and Me.
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Format: Paperback
Simply put, in writing and drawing "Pedro and Me", Judd Winick has produced one of the best books I've read in the year 2000. Part auto-biography, part comic book, part social issues, Winick manages to blend it all together in this stunning literary tribute to a "hero" of the AIDS generation.
The book recounts the days before, during, and after the tulmultous months spent living in the crazy house "Real World" house in San Franscisco. We learn a little bit about Judd growing up, and how he came to be a "bleeding heart liberal". But here is the first suprise! Coming to learn that he might be living with a gay man with AIDS, Judd is forced to confront not only his own fears about the disease, but his own prejudices about everything. That I believe is the complete brilliance of his story. He shows us his own growth, not in a preachy, "you-need-to-do-this" way, but in an honest "this-is-what-happened-to-me" way. It is through his honest struggles that we as readers are carried through with him.
But lets not forget Pedro in this as the engine that powers the story. We see a deeper Pedro not shown in the show, a sicker Pedro, a frail Pedro that is truly struggling on a daily basis with his health. We see a human Pedro, instead of his role on the show, "gay man with AIDS". The respect and love Judd has for Pedro comes across beautifully in the book, and we love both of them all the more.
Don't worry, you need not have seen the Real World San Francisco shows to be impacted by this book. Judd draws us a portrait of his own Real World, with the hopes and the joys and the pain for all of us to share and see. And we leave his book "Pedro and Me" truly transformed about how we see and act in our own Real Worlds.
Thanks, Judd. And thank you Pedro.
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Format: Paperback
I knew of Judd, not through MTV but through his outrageous Barry Ween Comic series. He scores high with me as a comic artist and entertainer but I was very unsure as to how he would handle such a challenging subject.
I am no longer unsure. This book is beautiful! After reading Pedro and Me and feeling the love and loss expressed by Judd, I kick myself for not having watched Real World. I feel a tad diminished for having not known the man capable of making both Judd and his now fiancee Pam, dedicate themselves to him and his life.
There are few books I have read in my 30+ years that truly moved me to the point that I questioned the way I look at life and interact with others. Pedro and Me is such a book and is a must read for anyone.
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Format: Paperback
In this Summer of Reality TV and opportunities to win $1 million by screwing over or excluding your island or room-mates, Judd Winik, a cartoonist, and member of the third season of MTV's The Real World, presents us with the true story of living on a reality TV show for six months, where the prize was not $1 million and a Hollywood contract, but a lifelong lesson in friendship, courage, and love. Written in cartoon, or graphic novel, form, this is one of the few cartoon books that will choke you up. (not even Art Speigelman's Maus did it as well). Judd takes us behind the scenes of life in the Real World house, and imparts to us what he learned about friendship and striving to be a mensch in one's life. Behind the scenes, Judd tells us about the night sweats, the pneumonia, Pedro's anxieties, and Judd's growing fondness for his housemate (now fiance), Pam. The reader will also learn more about the life and death of Pedro Zamora. The first four chapters cover Pedro's life before his invitation to join the Real World 3 cast. Born on a leap day in a leap year in Cuba, anointed as a Grande Cabeza, Pedro grew up to be a scholar, track team captain, friend, brother and son. Zamora faced the realization that he was HIV Positive when he was only 17. Judd's book graphically conveys how Pedro, a popular student, faced his school and announced that he was living with the virus. With 25% of all new AIDS cases occurring among American teens, the book serves as an additional wake up call to readers and educators about why these issues must be confronted and discussed openly. As with Matthew Shephard, many Americans believe that Pedro Zamora gave more by dying than by living. This is far from the truth, and readers can get confirmation of this by reading this book....
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