Cover image for Harvey Pekar's American splendor : unsung hero
Harvey Pekar's American splendor : unsung hero
Pekar, Harvey.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Milwaukie, Or. : Dark Horse Comics, [2003]

Physical Description:
79 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
"The story of Robert McNeill."

"This volume collects issues one through three of the Dark Hourse comic book series American splendor: Unsung hero".--T.p. verso.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS559.5 .P45 2003 Graphic Novel Open Shelf
DS559.5 .P45 2003 Graphic Novel Graphic Novels

On Order



Few authors are able to capture an honest snapshot of everyday life the way Harvey Pekar can. From ruminations on jazz musicians to back problems and traffic tickets, Pekar writes in a clear, unsentimental voice that not only explores the mundane, but celebrates it as well. This time out, Pekar focuses his sharp literary eye on Robert McNeill, an ordinary man who's lived an extraordinary life.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Pekar, the dean of autobiographical comics thanks to the long-running American Splendor, is no egoist. He is quite willing to tell someone else's good true story, as this corralling of three recent AS issues confirms. It consists of the Vietnam War recollections of Robert McNeill, one of Pekar's African American coworkers at Cleveland's VA hospital. With his parents' permission, optimistically granted because he was no star in high school, 17-year-old McNeill enlisted in the marines, which meant pretty much immediate service at the front in exchange for early discharge. He saw a lot of action, beginning stateside near Camp Pendleton in California, where crooks regarded young soldiers as disposable marks (a buddy of McNeill's was robbed and killed), but climaxing in several battles in country. Moreover, there was racial tension in the ranks, and clumsy efforts to stifle black soldiers' solidarity. Glimpsed only while taking down or mutely reacting to McNeill's words, Pekar writes solely in his friend's voice. Collier's blunt-edged, heavy-figured drawing style--like but more massive than those of two of Pekar's preferred collaborators, R. Crumb and Frank Stack--suits McNeill's unpretentious narration about perfectly. --Ray Olson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Acclaimed comics writer Pekar, known for such autobiographical comics as the Harvey Award-winning Our Cancer Year, has been in the public eye recently following the widespread critical success of the film American Splendor, based on his life. Here he takes time out from chronicling his own life to tell the war story of Robert McNeill, a marine corporal who saw combat during the Vietnam War and received a navy commendation for heroism under fire. As relayed by Pekar, McNeill's account is frank, rambling, and emotionally real, recounting the terror of the trenches, the camaraderie that developed among fellow soldiers, the drug use that helped them cope, and the effects on them of racism (McNeill is black) and the Black Power movement, even so far from home. Collier's black-and-white art is roughly realistic in a manner reminiscent of 1960s underground comics, and despite occasional awkwardness, it matches the matter-of-fact tone of the story well. With some nudity and gore, this is recommended for adult collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.