AMERICAN SPLENDOR is the biography of Harvey Pekar: a cantankerous, proletarian skeptic whose life story and observations were turned into comics by underground artist Robert Crumb and others. Mr. Pekar achieved greater notoriety following a series of appearances on The David Letterman Show and the publication of a book co-written with his wife about his battle against testicular cancer.

AMERICAN SPLENDOR takes a multi-faceted approach. The real Pekar appears being formally interviewed, behind the scenes with this film's crew and in clips from Letterman's show. He provides voice-over to scenes showing a child actor and Paul Giamatti playing him. There's a scene of a theatre production with another actor as Pekar, who is also shown in drawings by several comics illustrators. The film provides an opportunity to explore different aspects of representational art while the viewer is being entertained.

Harvey Pekar is no genius. He is just a file clerk at Cleveland's V.A. Hospital who shows Crumb his "stick figures with captions" during a fortuitous meeting in the 60s. Now he is the subject of one of 2003's Must-See films. AMERICAN SPLENDOR (along with Green's All The Real Girls) provides evidence of the vitality of the American independent movement.