Harvey Pekar Has Passed Away


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Harvey PekarHarvey Pekar opened his life to all of us through comic books.  He was one of two comic book legends to come from the “mistake by the lake,” the other being Superman.  His autobiographical comic book series American Splendor chronicled his life, warts and all.  Pekar passed away earlier this morning.

Pekar, 70, was found dead shortly before 1 a.m. today by his wife, Joyce Brabner, in their Cleveland Heights home, said Powell Caesar, spokesman for Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

A Cleveland institution, Pekar began his comics career after being inspired by R. Crumb in 1972 and began to publish annually in 1976.  Crumb described Pekar as “the soul of Cleveland.”

He won the American Book Award in 1987 for American Splendor and was a regular guest on the David Letterman show.  Pekar also won a Peabody Award and saw his life on the big screen in a film adaptation of American Splendor which won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic films at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

Cleveland.com has further coverage of the life and times of Harvey Pekar, a true original.

Pekar in a Letterman appearance from July 31, 1987.