HOLLYWOOD — Though Harvey Pekar and wife-collaborator Joyce Brabner may seem a bit downbeat in their “American Splendor” comicbooks — his job as a Cleveland veterans hospital file clerk forms the backdrop — they were upbeat about the screen version that preemed Thursday at the ArcLight.
Pekar said he was “really happy with it,” while Brabner said seeing themselves portrayed onscreen was “not a surreal experience” because they were deeply involved in the filmmaking.
“It’s not like we were a bunch of gazelles National Geographic did a documentary on,” she said.
Brabner had a pragmatic reaction to the lavishly decorated, rooftop after-party: “People appear to be getting fed, and I don’t have to do anything,” she said. That’s kind of nice.”
Among those out to see the first pic released under the new distribution deal between HBO Films and Fine Line were HBO’s Maud Nadler and Glenn Whitehead; producer Ted Hope; directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; plus guests Chris McGurk, Jim Gianopulos, Eric Idle, Fran Drescher, Anne Heche, Paul Mazursky, Albert Berger, Bryce Zabel and Faye Dunaway.