Mar. 4th, 2017

jazzy_dave: (Default)
Harvey Pekar "The Quitter" (Vertigo)





The Quitter covers Harvey Pekar's childhood growing up in Cleveland. Some of this material was previously covered in American Splendor, but not much of it; that tended to focus on Harvey's later life, which only comes in at the very end here. What can I say about it beyond that it might be my favourite Pekar comic yet? He fills in his life in broad sketches, focusing into specific moments only a couple times, but this story really resonated with me-- as indeed, I suspect it would with anyone who's ever tried to do something and ended up giving up because it was hard. Or maybe just because of stupid reasons. The Quitter details Pekar's attempts to find something he won't give up at.

Pekar's short works resist "messages," but The Quitter has one, sort of, even if it's just that someday you might find something where you don't quit. Barely a message, but it's somehow uplifting, and I found myself feeling better about myself after finishing The Quitter, and I don't often like books that overtly try to do that to me.

Dean Haspiel might just be my favourite artistic collaborator for Pekar so far; his work is cartoony, but gritty, which suits Pekar's "neo-realist" style more so than some of the more realistic art I've seen in American Splendor, which tends to be too stiff to work as good comics. Lee Loughridge accentuates the whole thing with good use of "gray tones."

An excellent graphic novel.

jazzy_dave: (Default)

E.H.Carr "What Is History?" (Penguin History)







Going back to re-read old university textbooks for fun must be a sign of incipient nostalgia for the lost days of youth - that or masochism. I didn’t get a nostalgic buzz (possibly as I was young and foolish enough to think I could get away by essentially skimming it) for my Open University courses in history but reading it now with age and experience has made it more rewarding.


Carr’s initial question is the springboard for six essays, transcribed from a series of lectures. It’s a musing on what history is and the role it has in our society – how it actually fits neatly in with sciences, how objective a historian can be and how history tells us as much about the time it’s written in as it does about the time itself. It’s actually aged very well, being prescient on a number of issues and forcefully making a point of how history should be a positive force. Still, one thing is concerning – if Carr’s thesis that a nation in decline harks back to golden ages and nostalgia and turns inward on itself then the UK is in a ‘sick’ state indeed.

A fascinating starting point for anyone looking at history and historiography.

Profile

jazzy_dave: (Default)
jazzy_dave

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
234567 8
9101112 13 1415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 20th, 2017 12:40 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios