Huntington, West Virginia 'On the Fly'

Harvey Pekar and Summer McClinton. Villard, $19.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-345-49941-7
One of the final books written by the late Pekar, this volume collects five short pieces, mostly relating to a trip he made to West Virginia for a speaking engagement at a book festival: a series of anecdotes from an eccentric, dreadlocked limo driver; a tale about an unsuccessful attempt by one of Pekar's acquaintances to make a vintage diner successful in Cleveland; and so on. At his best, Pekar could find the stuff of engaging comics in the small routines and oddities of the everyday, and there's some potentially interesting oral history here—although not a lot of it cries out for visual interpretation, since most of these stories consist of expository dialogue that describes exactly what we see in McClinton's drawings. But the book falls flat when Pekar turns his focus away from his interviewees and onto himself, including endless, tedious, very familiar scenes in which he's talking on the phone, describing his career, and carping about money. This is far from Pekar's strongest work, and McClinton's artwork doesn't help much: her stylized textures and stripped-down renderings mesh uncomfortably with the photo-reference approach to drawing that often formed the basis of Pekar's comics. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/25/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.