Working, as Adapted by Harvey Pekar


Harvey Pekar, the only famous comic-book creator who isn’t an artist himself, last month released a graphic adaptation of Studs Terkel’s Working with The New Press. Dave Gilson summarizes it on Mother Jones as not “the most far-fetched attempt to repackage” the classic 1974 collection of interviews with blue-collar workers — “that would be the 1978 Broadway musical of the same name.” Pekar worked with 16 artists on the adaptations; as usual, the quality of the artwork is wildly uneven, but as Gilson puts it, “the original words rise above the rough spots (even when presented in that goofily unproletarian typeface, Comic Sans).” And “the storytellers’ sense of unease that the bottom could drop out of the American Dream at any moment is all too familiar.” The adaptation was co-edited by Paul Buhle, who put out The Beats: A Graphic History in March. Some sample panels can be viewed over at the Utne Reader.

Jeremy Hatch is a writer, musician, and professional bookseller leading a cheerful, aimless life in San Francisco. He is the Junior Literary Editor of the Rumpus and has a blog which he updates once in a while. More from this author →