When comics were all about fantasies, heroes, adventure and action, Harvey Pekar chose to write about his own life. "Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff" he said.
Harvey Pekar is an underground comic book writer wrote about his own life. American Splendor was the title of his comic book. He described it as "an autobiography written as it's happening. The theme is about staying alive. Getting a job, finding a mate, having a place to live, finding a creative outlet. Life is a war attrition. You have to stay active in all fronts. It's one thing after another. I've tried to control a chaotic universe. And it's a losing battle. But I can't let go. I've tried but I can't."
Harvey Pekar couldnt "even draw a straight line". So he wrote his stories and asked other artists to draw them for him. and therefore, he has many comic versions of him.
"Harvey let his readers know he had so many issues; he was anxious, obsessive, pessimistic. But one issue he never had was self-conciousness; he was 100 percent himself. Harvey was Harvey unrepentantly, and this relentlessly being himself inspired others consicously and unconsioucly, even when he exposed his foibles and fuck-ups or especially when doing just that, to be more themselves."
Harvey Pekar was inspiring and loved by alot of people, especially artists that worked with him. Here's one of his tributes by Garry Sharman, an artist who got commisssioned to illustrate Pekar's stories. More can be found on Pekar Project, a site that features works of Pekar and a team of artists.
Harvey worked as a hospital clerk until his retirement. He died last monday, 12th of July 2010. I just got to know him and his works. How he lived his life with ups and downs, and found his own creative outlet and do his art his own way.
American Splendor, a movie based on his comics. A truly lovely movie about a not-so-lovely man.
Rest In Peace, Mr Harvey Pekar.