Analysis of Book:
The excerpts from Pekar’s work portrayed real life rather than the usual comic book of superheros and fantasies. The black and white illustrations that matched the description text in each frame helped to promote the idea of realism rather than escapism. Even the frames in which Harvey is drawn but is not speaking capture Harvey in a real life moment and portray what he would be in person. The stories are about himself, though not illustrated by himself, which allows the illustrator to take liberties using his own interpretation. The strips of harvey’s introduction and the ones of him in the grocery store contrast greatly in style, and give Harvey a different personality. This, however, fit in with his character- he easily fluctuated between complaining and compassion, which might give way to the great variety of illustrations of him.
Analysis of movie:
American Splendor took a twist in making a documentary on Harvey Pekar’s life. The whole movie was like an interpretation on Harvey. In moments where Harvey himself is seen speaking, he is comedic and entertaining, but the character harvey took up the more human role in which the viewers were to observe and connect through his hardships. The twist comes in further when they add in elements of graphic novelization in the film, such as the frames and adding texts throughout the live action style of film. By doing so they embody the multiple personalities that Harvey displays and becomes, even though Harvey is still pretending to play himself with the background simulating a behind the scenes moment.
Analysis of adaptation:
The film accurately depicts Harvey that is seen from the comics, who is more one dimensional and more sad than he appears on film. The film is then an adaptation on an adaptation on harvey’s life, except the film has the ability fo include the real Harvey alongside the actor playing Harvey, the one that seems more closely related to the comic book Harvey. By using different Harveys, the directors are able to capture the essence of Harvey in real life.
The article written by Dave Itzkoff in the same year of Harvey’s death describes the marriage between him and Ms. Brabner, and the different portrayals of Harvey, while keeping the same tone as Harvey’s comics have taken up. Dave mentions the strains of the marriage, including a woman named Tara who was working with Harvey. He insinuated jealousy on Ms. Brabner’s part, noting that she would pull Harvey from his phone conferencing with tara and wouldn’t let the book be published if her work was in it. dave also takes care to speak of how not jsut his fans but his wife notes that there is not one Harvey, that all his portrayals are so different, but he was known mostly for his obsessive chronicling of events in cleveland, including the time when Brabner took care of Harvey, as decribed in their book “Our Cancer Year.”
The first few pages of Barner and Harvey’s collaborative work, “Our Cancer Year” which talks of Harvey’s tumor and housing issues and bumps in their marriage.
Tara Siebel recalls the day before Pekar’s death, and how Pekar had been an inspiration to her.
Which did you find more interesting in the film: the characters as portrayed by actors, and the characters as portrayed by themselves? Why?
I found the characters portraying themselves to be more intriguing, especially after finding out that they were acting as themselves, or making an artificla scene seem real. I was fooled before reading the lecture in to thinking that Harvey was having a one on one interview sort of session, and that Toby Radolff was being poked fun at for his personality yet he played himself knowing that he was a comedy show. The characters potrayed by actors I thought were not as interesting ebcause I had already seen them in the comic books and they reflected prettyclosely to what was drawn and written.