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american splendor 5
solid writing
exceptional art
historical 3
score 8
American Splendor #5

Only Printing / Summer, 1980 / 60 Pages / Harvey Pekar

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American Splendor #5 opens with a fine story about an out-of-town friend of Harvey's who comes to visit Cleveland. The friend is a cheap S.O.B. and Harvey knows it, but does what he can to keep up the friendship. The next few stories feature other acquaintances of Harvey's who have various flaws and weaknesses. The comic closes with a long story about Harvey becoming afflicted with a vocal cord nodule that requires surgery and keeps him from talking normally for several months. Overall, an enjoyable read, though a bit weaker than previous issues.
It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. Pekar was known to have printed approximately 5,000 copies of early issues of the book, which likely includes this issue. It has not been reprinted.

This is the last issue that Robert Crumb makes a major contribution to. There was no falling out between old friends Crumb and Pekar, but Crumb was ramping up his magazine Weirdo by the time the next issue of American Splendor was being developed, so it seems likely that Crumb was just a busy man. Weirdo and the original American Splendor serial would both end their runs in 1993.
Harvey Pekar - 1-60 (stories)
Robert Crumb 1-12 (art), 60 (art)
Gary G. Dumm 13-23 (art collaboration), 24-30 (art), 31-33 (art collaboration)
Greg Budgett 13-23 (art collaboration), 31-33 (art collaboration)
Gerry Shamray 34-59 (art)