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The Beats: A Graphic History (Anglais) Broché – 13 avril 2010

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The Beats In "The Beats: A Graphic History," those who were mad to live have come back to life through artwork as vibrant as the Beat movement itself. Told by the comic legend Harvey Pekar, his frequent artistic collaborator Ed Piskor, and a range of artists and writers, including the feminist comic creator Trina Robbins and the "Mad" magazine artist Peter Kuper, "The Beats" takes us on a wild tour of a gen... Full description

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 commentaires
25 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Can't Beat This 29 mars 2009
Par J. Brennan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
In The Beats, as in Students for a Democratic Society and Macedonia, Pekar is dealing with pivotal events that shaped his life and times on and off the streets of Cleveland. In this these works are essential companions to American Splendor. Readers are fortunate that a talent like Pekar is allowed a platform to explain why what happened to millions in his era happened. It would be hard to truly understand Pekar and the peers he generally speaks for, common folk, without some background on the context.

Pekar puts on the same glasses he uses to discern his own life to discern this group. His vision is intentionally stripped of fawning, platitudes, and the intellectual apologetics that often dominate accounts of the more famous beat characters. The fusion of music, literature, film, politics, and just enough, but not too much mass media, is what grabbed us and changed our lives. Pekar tells the story the way we heard the story, and saw parts of it, in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Other than in often hard to find Beat writings, which tended to make big names like Kerouac seem a constant romantic wanderer, minimizing the sad, right-wing, drunken momma's boy, all we heard were bits and pieces about their lives. Certain books we were fortunate enough to find, like Lawrence Lipton's The Holy Barbarians, focused on Beat unknowns and presented a lifestyle that was alluring as well as repellent. (Though Ginsberg is inspiring at times, Burroughs makes me want to get a government job and go to church.) This tension made most of us, after brief flings in hippiedom, spend our lives as VA file clerks, teachers, social workers, nurses, small business coffee house and used bookstore owners. Pekar eloquently depicts this tension in simple panels, such as on page 20, with Kerouac's mom saying, "Welcome back!" on one of the many occasions when Jack returns broke to her door. Page 59 has him afraid to visit with Allen Ginsberg, who is hiding in the bushes because momma would be upset, as well as the stress, decadence and death that plagued these writer's lives. There is great power in reading about these events in Pekar's pithy prose and seeing them in the artist's panels. It all appears very intentional, without a wasted word or drawn line.

Pekar, as always, speaks more for the majority that didn't make it so big. This book really gets going on page 95 when Pekar and partners get into the lesser known, but perhaps even more essential, beat community. Pekar reminds us that with or without the three "giants" of beatdom there was a vibrant San Francisco scene that was flourishing long before a handful of screwed up guys hit town from New York. We get introduced to folk like d.a. levy from Cleveland, outstanding, and Slim Brundage from Chicago, fantastically portrayed by Jerome Neukirch. I had never heard of him before and just ordered a book of his writings from Amazon-thanks Jerome. Joyce Brabner does a great job on Beatnik Chicks. I enjoyed her feminist point of view on the "top guys" and only wish there was more from her perspective. Tuli Kupferberg helped write about himself, and that was great. These are just some of the folk that made this a real movement, who were into community organizing, the people, and not just out for themselves. Pekar and crew do here what was done in Pekar's Macedonia. They don't just focus on the train wrecks but on the folks and places that are doing things right, staying out of war and creating spaces for us to get involved with making the world a better place. The Beats: A Graphic History is an inspirational five star book.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Decent Introduction 25 mai 2009
Par Fred Davis, Awakening Clarity Now - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
The less you know about the Beats, the more you'll like this graphic history. I say that as someone who read a lot of Beat literature, met a number of the characters in this book, and knows quite a bit about them.

First, let me say that I am something of a Harvey Pekar fan (more was than am, I guess) and have been since the late 80's, when I came into touch with American Splendor, his graphic magazine, or comic book, whichever you choose to call it. What he was doing then was genuine art, real genius, truly pushing out the edges of graphic presentation.

This book is a far cry from art, but overall, with the particular exception of the shameless self-promotion by an otherwise old favorite--City Lights Bookstore--it's a fairly pleasing blend of craft and commerce. My rating would be 3 1/2 stars if Amazon allowed it.

One proofreader's note. If Mr. Pekar is going to take multiple stories and present them as a single bound volume, he might want to figure out a way to not repeat himself. That's sloppy editing which creates trying reading.

If you know the history of the Beats and want a walk down memory lane, this is nice, shady, if unsurprising street on which to do so. If this is all essentially new to you, and you want to find out something about an extremely important literary and cultural tsunami that occurred in mid-twentieth century America, and that is still causing waves, give this book a read. The graphics, while uninspired, make it an easy dose of art history to swallow.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not a satisfying survey 12 juillet 2010
Par Christopher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Pekar's text is ok. Nothing stands out in memory, though, after reading. I can't say I'm any more knowledgeable about this generation than I was before reading (which is to say: not knowledgeable at all).

That paired with the completely uninspired drawings makes this a 'not recommended' work. Most frames have no information... just a character standing in the center, sometimes with a vague expression, sometimes with an arm raised, sometimes talking to another character. No background scene worth noticing. Completely dead, in comic terms.

I appreciate the effort though. Hopefully a future artist and editor will give this the revamp it deserves.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Definitely a must read. 19 mai 2010
Par Mad Dog - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Nicely written and illustrated, The Beats gives an abreviated history of The Beat Generation, starting with Cassidy, Kerouac, Burroughs, and Ginsberg, then quickly branching out from there.

It is Pekar's history and makes a nice primer for those interested in exploring the Beat Generation further. But as a work of comic litterature it is nothing special. It is for the most part a simple history.

What makes it worth the price of admission is the piece by Joyce Brabner (Pekar's wife) called "Beatnik Chicks". The other stories are essentially illustrated history (and certainly never rise above that). Brabner, on the other hand, writes an bitter, ironic commentary on role the women who were left behind played. You think Kerouac was a hero? Babner paints him as a deadbeat father, and she's probably right. Ditto for most of the other major male figures.

Normally, *being a male*, I might be inclined to attribute at least some of Brabner's rage to reverse sexism, historical revisionism, and contextural distortion; but while they might have revolutionised litterature, Babner doesn't excuse them from being a bunch of mysogynist bastards. Her story is honest and passionate and angry and tragic -- ironically the very things the Beats espoused in their work, and all elements sadly missing from the rest of the book.

It's a good book, but more work of Brabner's caliber would have made it a great book.
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Real, like, Jumble, Maaaannnnnnnnnn 9 août 2010
Par The Passionate Ornithologist - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Ok...cool comics, but often the info given is wrong. Pekar needed a copy editor and fact checker badly. C'mon ALAN Ginsberg!? ALAN? Everyone knows it's ALLEN. The chronologies/time lines are all mixed up on many of the Beats featured. A real disappointment for a terrible perfectionist/sometime Beat aficionado like myself. C'mon Whalen wasn't in Japan until the 90s, he lived around the corner from me in S.F. The Burroughs caricature is ridiculous making him look like some hobo (the guy wore freakin suits, not t-shirts w/ holes, and he didn't hold anyone up w/ a gun--read the books and bios and interviews). Anyway...wish I felt I was being nitpicky but I'm not. I was particularly interested in the "Lamantia" section (why not "Philip Lamantia"?). Books on the shelf feature Ur-Vox and Faucheuse...wow. Nancy his wife wrote it, so you know it's factual. The other sections are terribly brief (Snyder's ends in 1974). Guess it can't be comprehensive, the book would be 10 times bigger (w/ ten times more factual mistakes).

I get the feeling the artists were not chosen for their personal knowledge of the Beat Generation, or its members.
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