Harvey Pekar Dies

Best known for his series of autobiographical dark comics, American Splendor, Harvey Pekar died early yesterday at his home in Cleveland. He had prostate cancer, asthma and high blood pressure and was suffering from depression, but no cause of death was given. He was 70.

A movie was made of American Splendor, starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar. It was released in 2003.


Los Angeles Times;  Harvey Pekar dies at 70; comic book author known for ‘American …; “Rather than merely depressive whingeing, Pekar’s work was capable of radiating an anguished spiritual yearning that fans found to be as ennobling as it was mordantly funny and that some critics regarded as downright Dostoevski-esque in its agonized humanity.”

Newsweek; Goodbye, Cleveland; “Harvey Pekar, who died Monday at the age of 70, should be the patron saint of soreheads. Even when he got successful he stayed cranky, maybe because being a crank was what made him successful’

New York Times; Harvey Pekar, ‘American Splendor’ Creator, Dies at 70; “Pekar…applied the brutally frank autobiographical style of Henry Miller to the comic-book format, creating a distinctive series of dispatches from an all-too-ordinary life.”


L.A. TimesHarvey Pekar: An Appreciation, David Ulin

Below is Pekar on the David Letterman Show in 1987, demonstrating his brutal honesty,


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