Pekar's work, memorialized in the movie American Splendor , is an ongoing chronicle of his life in all its quotidian glory. Until now, he's only written nonfiction vignettes of his life as a jazz-loving slacker. The strength of Pekar's work is in his depiction of moments, but you have to read a great deal of it to understand the overall arc. This autobiographical full-length comic amends that problem, providing the missing overview: a searingly honest memoir of a smart but troubled boy who depends on quitting any time he might fail--a strategy that eventually leads to a near-nervous breakdown after he joins the navy. But Pekar doesn't dwell on his anxiety with the look-at-me tantrums of Philip Roth or Woody Allen--he's not that indulgent. Pekar's frequent artistic collaborator Haspiel provides the square-jawed, nebbishy characters, drawn with a fat, '60s line, giving a sharp-edged sense of the frustration and tension of an immigrant midcentury boyhood. This book is full of the deeply flawed but sympathetic characters that populate Pekar's work: his hard-working but oblivious parents, an overrated tough guy Pekar beats up, the jazz writer who gives him an outlet away from being a street tough. Pekar's work dignifies the struggle of the average man, and this book shows how that dignity is earned. (Oct.)
“Harvey Pekar's confessional masterpiece.”Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn
“Harvey Pekar is America's most heroic anti-hero. He's a fighter whose toughest opponent has always been the one he sees in his cracked and shattered mirror. Illustrator Haspiel depicts beautifully and comedically this history of the making of Pekar -- it's a Horatio Alger story without a happy ending, which is just the way we like our Pekar tales to be.”Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!
“I love THE QUITTER! It's a house filled with unexpected rooms. A crumpled message from a man's soul!” John Patrick Shanley, Pulitzer Prize Winning author of Doubt.
“A searingly honest memoir of a smart but troubled boy who depends on quitting any time he might fail. . . . Pekar's work dignifies the struggle of the average man.”PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“A bright, dramatic graphic treatment by Haspiel. . . A lean and angry work, anchored by a mellowing sense of self-discovery.”KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Promises to be one of Pekar's most unified and informative books yet.”
The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
“One of the most revealing and thought-provoking studies of a working stiff ever produced.”The WASHINGTON TIMES
Night Flight dug THE QUITTER, twice: