AS 5: Jack the Bellboy and Mr. Boats
In American Splendor‘s fifth scene (8:00 to 10:00), it’s a few months later. A depressed and lonely Harvey is at his flunky file clerk job at the V.A. hospital. Mr. Boats comes by to offer some poetic advice about women. The conversation turns to music, and then to Harvey’s side gig as a used-record dealer. Mr. Boats accuses Harvey of not “turning loose the good stuff!”
Collier’s Disease, hoarding, “cat hoarding,” and Harvey’s tendency to “collect” misfits. The recurring character Mr. Boats (and his film portrayal by Earl Billings). “Jack the Bellboy” and Harvey’s different personae. An appreciation of the research involved in mining previously unrelated American Splendor stories to guide the plot of the film. Finding the right medium in which to tell your story. “Semi-auto-bio” comix: authenticity and making stories from real life. Editors—oy! Note: this episode is 10% funnier than the previous one.
Relevant panels from “Jack the Bellboy and Mr. Boats,” illustrated by R. Crumb, from American Splendor #4 (1979).