Official Press Release
UCLA Live brings together two artists who make searing use of the comics as a confessional medium with ‘Titans of the Graphic Novel’ at Royce Hall Friday April 23 at 8 p.m.—offering a unique evening of spoken word from American Splendor creator Harvey Pekar and Alison Bechdel, creator of “Dykes to Watch Out For” and acclaimed author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.
Long before reality television and “shows about nothing,” Harvey Pekar began penning and self-publishing American Splendor, which illustrated his less-than-splendid life as a file clerk in Cleveland’s VA Hospital and garnered a large and loyal cult following.
Pekar’s long-running autobiographical series elevated mundane day-to-day existence into high art and elevated its now 70-year-old author to cult-icon status. The critically acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated (best adapted screenplay) American Splendor film based on Pekar’s work and life was released in 2003.
At the podium Pekar is mundane-yet-poetic, honest and profound and shares his unique views in a not-to-be-missed multimedia presentation.
Pekar is currently producing online strip The Pekar Project for pop-culture site Smith Magazine (www.smithmag.com).
Alison Bechdel joins Pekar to take aim at controversial topics of the day and discuss how her work redefines race and gender roles.
Hailed by Ms. Magazine as creating "one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comic genre, period," Bechdel’s “Dykes to Watch Out For” is syndicated in more 50 alternative newspapers and publications, translated into many languages and collected into a book series with more than 250,000 copies in print.
Time Magazine named Bechdel’s first full-length graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic the No. 1 book of 2006. In this deeply personal story of Bechdel’s relationship with her father Publishers Weekly says the author “…meditates on how prolonged untruth can become its own reality. She's made a story that's quiet, dignified and not easy to put down.”
Four of Bechdel’s books have won Lambda Awards for humor, including the Lambda Literary Award in the biography/autobiography category for The Indelible Alison Bechdel. She's also won two Vice Versa Awards for Excellence in the Gay and Lesbian Press.
Bechdel's work has also appeared in Ms., The Village Voice, The Advocate, Out, Gay Comics, and many other comic books, 'zines, and anthologies.
Single tickets are on sale now. UCLA Live at Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. Friday, April 23 at 8 p.m. $24/36/48 ($15 UCLA students.) (310) 825-2101, www.uclalive.org.