AMERICAN SPLENDOR Comic Book Author Harvey Pekar Dead at 70

     July 12, 2010

Acclaimed comic book author/memoirist Harvey Pekar was found dead this morning at the age of 70 by his wife Joyce in their Cleveland Heights home.  The cause of death is currently unknown.

Pekar was a file clerk who loved comics and began writing them in the 1970s.  His greatest legacy was his long-running comic book series American Splendor. First published in 1976 and illustrated by a variety of artists (most notably R. Crumb who was the first person to illustrate one of Pekar’s stories), the comics were about Pekar’s day-to-day triumphs and tragedies, from mundane irritations at the supermarket to his 1994 graphic novel “Our Cancer Year”, which documented his fight against lymphoma.  Over the course of his career, Pekar became a more public figure with his (in)famous appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and in 2003 with the amazing biopic American Splendor starring Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis.  Hit the jump to check out one of Pekar’s appearances on Letterman as well as one of my favorite scenes from American Splendor.  Our deepest condolences go out to Harvey Pekar’s family and friends.

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