Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar

From Off the Streets Of Cleveland! American Splendor!
From 1976 until 2008, in spite of adversity, lack of money, lack of publishers....
Cleveland author, Harvey Pekar published a self written very individual example of the art form of comics. He was able to get some of the best artists in the business to illustrate his tales, including major contributions by Robert Crumb. 
Harvey died today. He was 70-years-old. Pekar's seminal autobiographical comic book series, American Splendor, will forever embody the genius and influence he brought to the form.

"The humor of everyday life is way funnier than what the comedians do on TV. It's the stuff that happens right in front of your face when there's no routine and everything is unexpected." - Harvey Pekar (1939-2010)

Harvey was a true character, he supported his writing by working in the Cleveland Veterans Hospital as an orderly until he retired. Much of his work was centered around his job and the people he knew everyday. In the 1980's he became a minor celebrity and a regular guest on David Lettermans Show, until he pissed off Dave. It was priceless television. Around 2003, his story actually became a real motion picture.
 n 2003 a movie adaptation featuring Paul Giamatti playing Pekar  was written and directed by documentarists Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. 
I occasionally wrote and drew comic art for about 30 years in Toledo and New York and had the opportunity to meet Mr. Pekar on a few occasions. He was truly a real life character! 

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