American Splendor: On the Job

    (Dark Horse, 1997)
™ and © 1997 Harvey Pekar

Harvey Pekar, a file clerk at the V.A. hospital needs a patient’s chart for an appointment in the mental health department but the clerk in orthopedics won’t surrender it for fear of not getting it back by the time the patient is admitted next week. Doesn’t that poor, blind fool in orthopedics realize whom he’s dealing with!? Harvey Pekar will not be cowed into subservience or compromise. Never underestimate the power of an obstinate man.

Other stories feature Harvey’s impatience with being at work the day before a holiday when it is obvious that everyone should be sent home; talking with a bookstore owner and learning his background; and the most efficient way to do household chores. Any event, no matter how insignificant or trivial, is grist for his mill of slice-of-life comics.

This is not exactly the same as the fate of mankind hanging in the balance and dependent on the actions of our hero, but there is an undeniable attraction, (some might call it voyeurism), to peeking behind the curtain of someone’s life. The obvious conclusion is that everyone’s life is worthy of examination.

— George Haberberger

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 NN; One-shot; B&WHarvey PekarFrank Stack, Gary Dumm