Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND: Exclusive 4pg preview from ZIP comics andTop Shelf The late great Harvey Pekar pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the. Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland, starts out with a bang with Pekar’s account of the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series. Pekar. A lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Harvey Pekar () pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the mundane for magic since in his critically.

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Pekar chronicled his life and times in the acclaimed autobiographical comic book series, “American Splendor,” portraying himself as a rumpled, depressed, obsessive-compulsive “flunky file clerk” engaged in a constant battle with loneliness and anxiety.

Pekar, 70, was found dead shortly before 1 a. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Coroner rules that Harvey Pekar’s death due to ‘natural causes’

Pekar and Brabner wrote “Our Cancer Year,” a book-length comic, after Pekar was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in and ahrvey a grueling treatment. He was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, and also suffered high blood pressure, asthma and clinical depression, which fueled his art but often made his life painful.

He never stepped into a phone booth to change, but underneath his persona of aggravated, disaffected file clerk, he was an erudite book and jazz critic, and a writer of short stories that many observers compared to Chekhov, despite their comic-book form. Unlike the superheroes who ordinarily inhabit the pages of comic books, Pekar could neither leap tall buildings in a single bound, nor move faster than a speeding bullet.

Yet his comics suggested a different sort of heroism: The working-class, everyman heroics of simply making it through another day, with soul — if not dignity — intact. Crumb, the seminal underground comic-book artist. The two met in when Crumb was working for American Greetings in Cleveland.


At the time, Crumb was just beginning to explore the possibilities of comics, which would later lead to such groundbreaking work as “Mr.

Announcing Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND | The Pekar Project

Natural” and “Fritz the Cat. When Pekar, inspired by Crumb’s work, wrote his clrveland strip inCrumb illustrated it. Crumb also contributed to Pekar’s first full-fledged books, which Pekar started publishing annually in I appreciate the way he embraces all that darkness.

Yet the darkness came with a humorous silver lining. Havrey Pekar said, “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.

That’s what I want to write about. Pekar often complained that he made no money from his comics, but they did not go unappreciated. Letterman declined to comment. And in clevfland, the film adaptation of his comics, also titled “American Splendor,” won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic films at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

And put that I said that in a somewhat but not completely tongue-in-cheek way. Pekar was born Oct.

The Coventry Outdoor Courtyard To Be Christened Harvey Pekar Park

His father, a Talmudic scholar, owned a small grocery store on Kinsman Avenue, and the family — who included Harvey’s younger brother, Allen, a chemist — lived above the store. He graduated from Shaker Heights High School inand went on to Case Western Reserve University, dropping out after a year when the pressure of required math classes proved too much to bear.

He served in the Navy, then returned to Cleveland and a series of menial jobs before landing at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Cleveland as a file clerk, a job he would hold until he retired in He was married three times, the last to Brabner, whom he met in when she wrote to him asking for an issue of “American Splendor.


They became legal guardians of Danielle Batone when she was 9 years old, in”raising her as our own,” Pekar said. After he retired from the VA hospital, Pekar continued to write jazz reviews and “American Splendor,” garnering the accolades of his peers and critics.

Pekar’s work has been compared by literary critics to Chekhov’s and Dostoevski’s, and it’s easy to see why.

The filmmaker David O. Russell “Three Kings”who was on the Sundance jury that awarded “American Splendor” the grand prize, said, “It’s really great for people to see someone like Harvey Pekar, this guy who wants to remain authentic, isn’t going to buy [garbage], isn’t going to the malls, keeps on collecting old jazz music that’s important — that kind of independence. In the Plain Dealer article, R. Crumb said Pekar’s work examined the minutiae of everyday life, material “so staggeringly mundane it verges on the exotic.

Pekar himself summed it up as revealing “a series of day-after-day activities that have more influence on a person than any spectacular or traumatic events. It’s the 99 percent of life that nobody ever writes about. Pekzr tribute “American Splendor”: The Movie Friends remember Pekar: Entertainment Weekly Pekar’s last interview, with blogtalkradio.