Harvey Pekar is file clerk at the local VA hospital. His interactions with his co-workers offer some relief from the monotony, and their discussions encompass everything from music to the decline of American culture to new flavors of jellybeans and life itself. At home, Harvey fills his days with reading, writing and listening to jazz. His apartment is filled with thousands of books and LPs, and he regularly scours Cleveland’s thrift stores and garage sales for more, savoring the rare joy of a 25-cent find. It is at one of these junk sales that Harvey meets Robert Crumb, a greeting card artist and music enthusiast. When, years later, Crumb finds international success for his underground comics, the idea that comic books can be a valid art form for adults inspires Harvey to write his own brand of comic book. An admirer of naturalist writers like Theodore Dreiser, Harvey makes his American Splendor a truthful, unsentimental record of his working-class life, a warts-and-all self portrait. First published in 1976, the comic earns Harvey cult fame throughout the 1980s and eventually leads him to the sardonic Joyce Barber, a partner in a Delaware comic book store who end ups being Harvey’s true soul mate as they experience the bizarre byproducts of Harvey’s cult celebrity stature. —IMDb
rewatching this years later, after getting into the comics..I still like it... it's a love letter to Pekar's work but it's a little too meta for the material at times and the "comic panel" motif misses the point that American Splendor was a comic book by a guy who didn't like comic books (mostly). The actors deserve the praise they got because the pressures of having the real people in the movie had to be pressing.
If Annie Hall was to be remade, American Splendor would model a right way to go about it. Alvy Singer visualized his life through the eyes of a panicking comic. American Splendor is Harvey Pekar’s… read review