A.R.M. (kinkyturtle) wrote,

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Fashionable color names and American Splendor


All together now!

Pitch, cloud, lawn, cayenne,
Can I buy some Donna Karan?
Blush, bark, citron, poppy and dusk,
I love you!

In other news, I saw American Splendor today. It's a movie about the life of Harvey Pekar, the underground comics writer who writes about his own life. Starred Paul Giamatti as Harvey Pekar, and Pekar himself doing voiceovers. The movie has fun with self-reference and the comics format, in occasional scenes in which Pekar and his real-life friends and family interact with Giamatti and the other actors playing them.

Harvey Pekar is a twitchy neurotic sad sack stuck in a dead-end job as a file clerk. He makes friends with Robert Crumb, admires his comic art, wants to do comics himself but can't draw, so he starts drawing stick-figure storyboards. Crumb likes them and wants to illustrate them, and Harvey soon becomes a published comics writer. He becomes famous, but he's still stuck in his dead-end job and his crummy life. But soon he meets, falls in love with and marries Joyce Brabner, and he starts appearing on Late Night with David Letterman (until he gets sick of being used for comic relief and makes a scene on the air). Then he finds a cancerous growth and spends a year undergoing chemotherapy. Fortunately, he recovers. And of course he's drawn comics about all this, and every now and then we see frames from his comics illustrating the scene being reenacted.

The story is mostly told straight, the self-referential and comic book gimmicks are not overused, but there's one clever bit I just gotta mention: When Joyce talks to Harvey on the phone about moving from Delaware to Cleveland to live with him, she mentions she's not sure what to expect, since in his comics, one artist draws him looking like a young Marlon Brando, while another makes him look like a big hairy ape with stink lines (those are motion lines, Harvey points out), and so on. Then when she arrives in the train station in Cleveland, we see her imagining these various different incarnations of Harvey in animated cartoon form superimposed on live-action shots of the waiting area.

I recommend "American Splendor"! It's a fascinating movie.

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