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American Splendor Unsung Hero: The Story of Robert McNeill
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American Splendor Unsung Hero: The Story of Robert McNeill (American Splendor)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  164 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews

Few authors are able to capture an honest snapshot of everyday life the way Harvey Pekar can. From ruminations on jazz musicians to back problems and traffic tickets, Pekar writes in a clear, unsentimental voice that not only explores the mundane, but celebrates it as well. This time out, Pekar focuses his sharp literary eye on Robert McNeill, an ordinary man who's lived a

Paperback, 79 pages
Published September 2nd 2003 by Dark Horse Comics
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Mark Plaid
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Unlike most American Splendor comics Unsung Hero turns its focus away from author Harvey Pekar to his co-worker Robert L. McNeill and the story of his experience in the Vietnam War as a U. S. Marine. Pekar frames the story with scenes of him taking notes from McNeill as he tells Harvey all about it. This sets up the easy language of the book. Although tempting to refer to it as conversational speaking because of the manner of talking used, it lacks any dialog from Pekar at all and maintains firs ...more
Keith Schnell
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Unsung Hero is one of Harvey Pekar’s first forays into a long-form graphic novel, coming shortly after his retirement from the VA and some years before the more expansive books such as The Quitter that he wrote at the end of his career. In telling the story of one of his co-workers’ experiences in the Vietnam War, he essentially follows the format and concept of some of the shorter pieces in American Splendor, with the author as a neutral observer of one of the fascinating people who populate hi ...more
Mark Desrosiers
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, memoirs
Forget the author listed here -- this is the Vietnam War memoir of a black man, Robert McNeill, as told to Harvey Pekar. And unforgettable it is -- especially the passages where McNeill's paranoia escalates to seeming delusion, only to bear bloody fruit. Or the interlude in Bangkok, which includes the usual comfort women etc., actually has a fascinating emotional core, as he sees several of his friends turn into lotus-eaters and/or smitten suitors there. The pivotal heroic moment -- which we kno ...more
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This one’s a winner. I am strongly interested in the Vietnam War era, so this edition of American Splendor really held my attention. The story and artwork explored the human toll that war takes with tales of horror and heroism. Readers will be pleased with this multilayered depiction of the Vietnam War from the point of view of a nineteen-year-old black soldier.

Personally I caught just one mistake. A panel depicting a soldier reaching for a dead man’s firearm read:

I grabbed one of the M-16 rifle
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I don't think everything that Pekar does is brilliant, but this book engrosses. It is the true story of a black man in the Viet Nam war, a decorated war hero, but it is more than that. It is an accessible story that is raw and authentic, conversational and unglorified. Most in wars are tight-lipped about what happened, so I am quite glad that Mr. McNeill was willing to open up so much, reveal how things happened, how the troops felt, how they trained, how they approached their daily lives, and b ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
The story was top-notch, but the artwork resembled pieces you tend to see at high school exhibits. The perspectives were totally off in many of the panels and the overall work was sloppy. This includes the lettering. What's extra weird is that many of Collier's other works are solid, but this was such a mess it's hard to think it was intentionally amateurish.

Overall, it is a shame because accompanied with stronger art this could have been among his best works.
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This volume of American Splendor is about Robert McNeill and what happened to him as a Marine in Viet Nam. Well and simply told, Mr. McNeill joined the army in his teens as an escape and soon ended up in active combat. Harvey Pekar worked as a File Clerk at the Cleveland VA for many years, and from the panels, Mr. McNeill is co-worker who told his story to him, knowing he wrote American Splendor. I hope someday, the story of The Ban of (the) Brothers is given more attention.
Memior of a black marine in Vietnam War told to Harvey Pekar. Unlike Pekars other volumes it is not wordy or self centered.

Themes inlcude Racisms, view from the bottom, tactics for avoidingcombat, relationships with Vietnamese civilians, "bullet with my name", and nightmares.

Chapters separated by personal photos of the Marine.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great memoir that highlights the youth of most Vietnam-era soldiers, interracial tensions within and outside the ranks, and the casual violence that defined the 60s and 70s. Engaging anecdotal tone. Graphic novels usually have trouble holding my attention, but this one was a pleasure start to finish.
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the most engaging tellings of a soldier's time in Vietnam I have ever experienced. As the story reached its climax, I was fully enveloped in the moment, and when it was all over, I felt quite relieved. An excellent tale, told with a ton of heart.
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Harvey Lawrence Pekar was an American underground comic book writer best known for his autobiographical American Splendor series.

In 2003, the series inspired a critically acclaimed film adaptation of the same name.

More about Harvey Pekar...

Other Books in the Series

American Splendor (1 - 10 of 30 books)
  • American Splendor, #1
  • American Splendor, #2
  • American Splendor, #3
  • American Splendor, #4
  • American Splendor, #5
  • American Splendor, #6
  • American Splendor, #7
  • American Splendor, #8
  • American Splendor, #9
  • American Splendor, #10