The flow of posthumous Harvey Pekar material is bittersweet. It is nice to be able to await a new book he took part in authoring, though we all know that it will end sooner than later. However, due to his somewhat sudden passing, one can notice that parts were partially filled in after the fact. Despite this, upon seeing that "Cleveland" was in stores, I was immediately drawn to the attractive packaging. Top Shelf always gives their graphic novels the royal treatment from binding down to the choice of paper they use. It is clear that they treat each book as an individual release to be appreciated for content rather than a mass produced paperback. As a result, "Cleveland" is a work of craftsmanship and beautiful to hold in your hands.
When you delve into the content, the tone is akin to American Splendor. This is a once-great city that has fallen on hard times as seen through the eyes of a man who existed entirely within its core. From his birth until his passing, Harvey Pekar watched Cleveland morph and change many times over, never straying from his love of home. Even through passages the appear sullen or bitter, it is clear that he felt Cleveland to be unnecessarily overlooked by outsiders. It is this combination of personal storytelling and urban history that really takes the reader inside the parts of Cleveland that often go ignored. Though short, this tribute to both the man and his city are worth your time.