Harvey Pekar 1939 - 2010
Harvey Pekar doesn't take your shit. He was an observer of life, someone who never minced words or bit his tongue. He was constantly befuddled by the idiocy of the great unwashed. He collected his salty take on life in Cleveland in journals which would become American Splendor. His lifelong chum, R. Crumb, started inking them into comic books, and Pekar changed the face of comics forever. There'd be no Daniel Clowes, there'd be no Alison Bechdel, there'd be none of that single issue collection of howling into the ether because you know there are people listening.
His outrage, his bravado, his melancholia might seem like bitter fruit, but Pekar had a devilish sense of humor. He named his ranting American Splendor after all. But it wasn't just an angry man shouting at the kids to get off his damn lawn. He championed the veterans that surrounded him at his file clerking job. He wrote constantly and honestly and adoringly of his wife. He was respected and admired -- American Splendor was illustrated by any number of comics heroes, including the equally harrumphing Alan Moore.
Pekar slouched towards glory, grumbling and snarling and bitching, because he was outraged at the general stupidity of the world around him. Is it any wonder we loved the dude? He could have been the mascot for Pajiba.
Harvey Pekar passed away today. He was 70. Rest in peace.
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