Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Huntington, West Virginia "On the Fly" by Harvey Pekar (2011)

I haven't read everything that Harvey Pekar (author of the American Splendor comics) has written, but what I've read I've really liked. So when Dr. M picked up the copy of his most recent (and final, since he sadly died about a year ago) book, the posthumously published and awesomely punctuated Huntington, West Virginia "On the Fly" (2011), I was happy to take a look.

Like his other work, this book consists of vignettes of Pekar's everyday life and some of the stories of people that Pekar has met. In this collection we have the story of "Hollywood Bob" (my favorite) who went from being a small time hood to the successful owner and driver of a limo business; the separate and then together stories of Tunc and Eileen (plus Eileen is a comic book archivist!); the drama behind a local toy store owner's purchase and renovation of a old timey diner; and Pekar's trip to the titular Huntington, West Virginia for a book festival.

Pekar's voice and presence melds with his subject in each story, and the perfectly ordinary events of regular life become a little more interesting through his eyes. This collection is beautifully illustrated by Summer McClinton. Definitely recommended for Pekar fans, and if you aren't a Pekar fan, then what have you been doing with your life?

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