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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Movie Review: American Splendor

I'm not a big fan of Robert Crump, or the underground comic book scene in general, so I came to this movie as a complete outsider. As I watched the movie to figure out what the appeal of Harvey Pekar was, I realized that he was essentially the first person to turn the comic book medium into an expression of himself, i.e., he wrote the first comic book blog. Eternally surly, angry, and not very likeable, he nevertheless manages to say profound things and survive cancer in his own way.

Pekar himself appears in this extremely self-aware movie (Pekar is shown in a movie studio narrating the voice-overs in the movie), which makes Pekar's general unlikeability very palatable --- here is someone who's a prick, but knows he's one, and somehow that makes it OK. This is not the greatest movie I've seen, but I'm glad I gave it a shot --- it surprised me how good it is.

I bet I'll have a hard time reading American Splendor, though.

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