Go with God, Harvey Pekar

Harvey Pekar, thought balloon word artist, agitator, and curmudgeon savant, died at his home in Cleveland this morning. From the LA Times obit:
Pekar wrote his first comic strip in 1972; it was illustrated by his friend, R. Crumb. He began publishing regularly, or semi-regularly, a few years later. "American Splendor" was illustrated by a variety of artists and focused on the minutiae of Pekar's life as a file clerk.

"Pekar’s greatest strength is the tension between his ordinariness as a man and his extraordinary skill in chronicling it," James Hynes wrote of him. "He is thoughtful, articulate and, above all, angry, a rare and precious attribute in his age of yappie nihilism."
Click here to read the rest.

Pekar and his wife, Joyce Brabner, collaborated on Our Cancer Year, a graphic novel about his lymphoma diagnosis and treatment. It was published in 1994, two weeks before I was diagnosed with lymphoma, so it was FOS at every bookstore when Gary and I went out on a mission to research this thing that had just barged into our lives. We didn't feel like laughing. We felt like being pissed off. Harvey Pekar let us do both at the same time.

Go with God, Harvey. And thanks.


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