November 21st, 2006


The Guardian reviews The Quitter,,1950476,00.html

The Quitter by Harvey Pekar and Dean Haspiel (Titan Books, £8.99)

"By now we know what to expect from a new instalment of Pekar's autobiographical writings. There will be scenes of ordinary Cleveland life in all its well-observed glory, there will be a few very funny set pieces, and all of the proceedings will be conveyed with the brutal honesty that was evident in his last work, My Cancer Year. What makes The Quitter so memorable is the artwork of Dean Haspiel, who began his career drawing Captain America and Spiderman. Here he adds depth to his range, sketching out the subtleties of Pekar's early struggles to understand his immigrant Jewish parents and the warring values of his childhoood home. At the first sign of disappointment or humiliation, Pekar walks away from jobs, friendships and sports teams. Throughout, an older version of Pekar pops up to reflect on the mistakes of his younger self, and Haspiel has a fine way of using his black and white portraiture to show the regret in his lined face. Others, including Robert Crumb, have drawn versions of Pekar's life but the author has now met an even more understanding creative partner. Here's hoping it's not the last collaboration."
--Craig Taylor