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Monday, May 29, 2006

Pekar and Piskor's Macedonia -- The recent Ballantine release of Harvey Pekar and Gary Dumm's American Splendor: Ego and Hubris (which Chris Allen nicely describes here) is one of the best graphic novels of the year so far, and a refreshing palliative in the wake of the somewhat disappointing The Quitter. It chronicles the life of cranky, brilliant iconoclast Michael Malice and is a shocking, addictive profile. Malice's quick mind and Ayn Rand-informed philosophies might make him an aggravating carpool partner, but Pekar and Dumm's depiction of his life story is nearly impossible to put down once you start reading it.

Pekar -- one of the Founding Fathers of autobiographical comics -- is next teaming up with artist Ed Piskor for a project titled Macedonia. From the preview I've seen, it looks to skew much closer to the delightful Ego and Hubris territory than to The Quitter. Piskor tells me the book is about a "girl [named] Heather Roberson [that he met] while he was promoting the [American Splendor] movie. Heather's family owns a theatre and she found herself in a conversation with Pekar talking about her college career. She studies peace and conflict studies at UC Berkeley and kept getting into debates with professors who explained to her that war is inevitable but she wasn't satisfied with their examples. She kept pointing out Macedonia in her arguments which a recipe for disaster with all of the different and disenfranchised ethnic groups trying to gain some basic and political status. She ended up going to the balkans to prepare her thesis and she took very detailed notes for Harvey to weave her story in comic book form."

You can view a generous selection of Macedonia preview pages at Piskor's website.



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