Monday, July 12, 2010

RIP Harvy Pekar, 1939-2010

"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.

Legendary comic book author, Clevelander, and curmudgeon Harvey Pekar passed away at the age of 70.  Pekar was best known for his long-running autobiographical comic strip American Splendor.  The strip was later turned into a critically acclaimed movie of the same name starring Paul Giamatti.  Pekar collaborated with some of the most famous underground cartoonists including R. Crumb, Alison Bechdel, and Gilbert Herndandez. In the late 1980s, Pekar appeared several times on Late Night with David Letterman and was famously banned after a heated appearance where he repeatedly criticized General Electric (NBC's parent company). 

In addition to American Splendor, Pekar wrote several biographies and non-fiction graphic novels, including last year's The Beats, a history of the Beat Generation including Kerouac, Ginsburg, Burroughs and more.  Pekar was also a devout jazz fan and prolific music critic; in 2008, he even released a jazz opera called Leave Me Alone.

Read more about Harvey Pekar.

American Splendor (2003).
Comic Book Confidential (1988).

Selected Books:
Studs Terkel's Working: A Graphic Adaptation (2009).
The Beats: A Graphic History (2009).
American Splendor: Another Dollar (2009).
Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History (2008).
American Splendor. Another Day (2007).
Macedonia (2007).
Ego and Hubris: the Michael Malice Story (2006).
The Quitter (2005).
Best of American Splendor (2005).
American Splendor Presents: Bob and Harv's Comics (1996).
Our Cancer Year (1994).