AS 10: Give It Up!

American Splendor scene #10 (16:24 to 17:51) — a sobering moment in the VA hospital’s “deceased” files section leads Harvey to try drawing his own stories. Short on ideas, he flips through some old comics, including an issue of Dr. Quake. But the message he receives is… “GIVE IT UP!” Dino’s art featured this scene!

“Did you really believe brass and brawn could derail your destiny with fate?” — more behind-the-scenes details about how Dino connected producer Ted Hope with Harvey & Joyce, and how Dino’s art ended up in the movie. A discussion about why Harvey chose to make his mark via comics, as opposed to any other medium. Harvey’s scripts — did he wrote his stories in a stream-of-consciousness manner or did he plan them out? Stick-figure comics: a shout-out to Matt Feazell’s Cynicalman and Randall Munroe’s XKCD.

Episode Notes

Compare how Dean’s art is presented in the film (above) and what his original page looked like. Spot the difference? (It took until we did this episode for us to notice!)

The full “Give It Up!” page in all its glory. Story & art by Dean Haspiel.

The behind-the-scenes details about how Dean & Harvey began working together, which led to the film getting made! (From American Splendor: Portrait of the Artist in His Declining Years, Dark Horse Comics, April 2001.)

2 Replies to “AS 10: Give It Up!”

  1. Brett

    G’Day fellas,
    I am loving the podcast and thanks for giving me another excuse to watch American Splendor again and crack out the old trades of the comic stuff.
    One quick thing I noticed in the file scene which I think is important: The bloke who died was born in Cleveland and died in Cleveland, with the implication he had not done much more than live as a clerk then die. I reckon this was another element to spur Harvey – he didn’t want to be someone who was only known as someone who lived and died in the same place and didn’t leave any legacy behind.
    This plays into the end scene too (sort, jumping ahead !) in which Harvey talks about being one of several Harvey Pekar’s in the phone book and the affiliation he felt to the others (and them making him feel less unique too).
    Sorry for the long reply, you guys are just inspiring lots of thoughts !

    • admin

      Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Brett! The thing you touched upon about the clerk who lived and died in Cleveland of course is exactly how one could describe Harvey’s life in the end — if you left out all the other stuff. (We’re going to be talking about that a bit in a future episode). But I think you’re exactly right, and it makes you wonder that if that other “bloke” had made a comic of his “humdrum” life, maybe we’d be talking about his legacy now…!

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