Comics writer Harvey Pekar recently passed away at the age of 70. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Harvey was a seminal figure in the alternative comics scene. His autobiographical short stories were illustrated by luminaries such as Robert Crumb and Spain Rodriguez. They were, at their best, great little slice-of-life tales that promoted the concept that comics were a versatile medium fit for many facets of artistic expression.
I think Harvey Pekar was a fantastically talented and grounded voice in comics. He was a bit too self loathing for his own good, but his writing was relatable and interesting in a very natual way. Not many writers could turn a story about buying bread into something you'd want to read, but this guy could pull it off.
One of his best works is definitely “Our Cancer Year”, which was cowritten by Harvey's wife and detailed the writer's struggle with chemotherapy. Another good graphic novel of his was The “Quitter”, which detailed his formative years as a young man and was illustrated by the talented Dean Haspiel.
Of course, another vital entry point into Harvey's perspective is the excellent American Splendor movie. Paul Giamatti turns in a great performance as Harvey, but the main appeal is hearing the man himself as both the narrator and the “between scenes” figure.
RIP Harvey Pekar
Air Raid Robertson at 7:01PM, July 12, 2010
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
skoolmunkee at 12:22AM, July 13, 2010
That was a lovely write-up, but I'm afraid someone in Comic Discussion beat you to the thread-making. To keep discussion in one place I'll have to lock this, but I'll keep it in General a while in case someone checks here to see if a thread's been made.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
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