Neufeld, Haspiel Launch Harvey Pekar ‘American Splendor’ Podcast

Acclaimed cartoonists Josh Neufeld and Dean Haspiel have teamed up to launch Scene by Scene, a podcast devoted to the film American Splendor, the award-winning 2003 movie based on the life and work of the late autobiographical comics writer Harvey Pekar.

Neufeld and Haspiel will use the podcast to breakdown and comment on every scene in the 2003 film. In addition to being lifelong friends and native New Yorkers, the two cartoonists are also former collaborators with Pekar, and drew a number of comics stories in American Splendor, the original indie comic book series created by Pekar, who died in 2010.

The podcast launched in April will feature 28 episodes (ending on Pekar’s 81st birthday in July) in which the two cartoonists look back on their relationships with Pekar, and provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the movie was made and the connections between Pekar’s comics and the movie. In addition to responding to the film, the two cohosts will discuss their own comics careers and interview other artist collaborators’ of Pekar, as well as actors and filmmakers connected to the film. And the two will also interview Pekar's wife and creative partner Joyce Brabner at least twice over the course of the podcast’s 28 episodes.

Scene by Scene is available on the website and on Apple Podcasts and other platforms. 

Directed by Shari Springer-Berman and Robert Pulcini, the American Splendor film recreated the lives of Pekar and his wife/creative partner Joyce Brabner on the screen, while detailing the creative impact of Pekar on American comics. The film was nominated for an Academy award, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and a critics award at Cannes.

Hailed by an earlier generation of comics critics and fans, Pekar’s autobiographical and nonfiction comics were a powerful influence on American comics creators and servied as an introduction to the vastly expanded world of graphic novel and nonfiction trade book publishing we see today.

Pekar originally self-published his periodical indie comic American Splendor before it was republished in book collections by Doubleday in the 1980s and later Vertigo. Later came a series of graphic nonfiction books written by Pekar, among them the 1994 Our Cancer Year (with Frank Stack) from Four Walls Eight Windows, The Beats: A Graphic History (with Paul Buhle and Ed Piskor) and Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History (with Paul Buhle and Gary Dumm), both from Hill & Wang; and posthumously, Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland, was published in 2012 by Z2/Top Shelf.

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