Aptly subtitled “a graphic history,” this collection headlined by Harvey Pekar assembles a slew of comic writers and artists to narrate the biographies of Beat writers and poets. The lead piece weaves together the intersecting stories of the holy triumvirate of Burroughs-Kerouac-Ginsberg. But what’s nice about this book is that it includes many other more peripheral figures in the movement.

Where the collection falters is in merely putting pictures to the facts that made up these iconoclasts’ lives, instead of bringing them to life. It reads somewhat like an illustrated CliffsNotes. But for the layman looking for a good overview of who all those crazy cats were, it succeeds.

Grade: B

The Beats: A Graphic History is currently available.