I know that George Steinbrenner passing seems to be the biggest thing to ever happen in the state of New York, but if I ran the news there’d be more mention of the passing of Harvey Pekar. If you weren’t introduced to his self published, mostly autobiographical and highly influential comics, American Splendor, then perhaps you were aware of the unique artist through the movie of the same name.
His work was about the working class life, the mundane (as R Crumb described it “so staggeringly mundane it verges on the exotic.”) and personal anxieties – a far cry from the beginning of comics with their super hero fantasies. He always used artists he admired to illustrate his stories including like minded Crumb and Chester Brown.
He passed away July 12, the cause of death has not been released, but he had suffered with prostate cancer.