The Beats: A Graphic History

The Beats: A Graphic History

Paperback

By (author) Harvey Pekar, Edited by Director of the Oral History of the American Left at Taminent Library Paul Buhle, Text by Nancy J Peters, Text by Penelope Rosemont, Text by Joyce Brabner, Illustrated by Ed Piskor

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  • Publisher: Hill & Wang
  • Format: Paperback | 199 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 15mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 13 April 2010
  • ISBN 10: 0809016494
  • ISBN 13: 9780809016495
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 158,209

Product description

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 generation that, in the face of mainstream American conformity and conservatism, became known for its determined uprootedness, aggressive addictions, and startling creativity and experimentation. What began among a small circle of friends in New York and San Francisco during the late 1940s and early 1950s laid the groundwork for a literary explosion, and this striking anthology captures the storied era in all its incarnations--from the Benzedrine-fueled antics of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs to the painting sessions of Jay DeFeo's disheveled studio, from the jazz hipsters to the beatnik chicks, from Chicago's College of Complexes to San Francisco's famed City Lights bookstore. Snapshots of lesser-known poets and writers sit alongside frank and compelling looks at the Beats' most recognizable faces. What emerges is a brilliant collage of--and tribute to--a generation, in a form and style that is as original as its subject.

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Author information

Harvey Pekar is best known for his graphic autobiography, American Splendor, based on his long-running comic-book series that was turned into a 2003 film of the same name. Paul Buhle is a senior lecturer at Brown University.

Review quote

“Editor Paul Buhle’s graphic history "The Beats"—with riffs from cats such as Harvey Pekar and Trina Robbins—burns like a Roman candle.” —"Vanity Fair""" ""“"The Beats" is as fresh and pertinent as the latest scholarly history, only far more entertaining.” —Studs Terkel “A new angle on a familiar story . . . ["The Beats"] gives the hipsters back their body language. In a book that is largely about license and the enlightened rebel, it is easy to find reflections of both in the graphic form.” "—"John Leland, "The New York Times Book Review" “Well researched and . . . absorbing.” —Richard Pachter, "The Miami Herald" “Eye-catching . . . An illustrated look back at a very real part of American pop-culture history, when beat culture of the ’40s and ’50s—sandwiched between the improvisational nature of jazz and the recklessness of rock ’n’ roll&#82