— Tom Spurgeon.
Tom’s Full Obit here.
Photo by Seth Kushner.
My first exposure to Harvey was through “Comic Book Confidential” when I was in my late teens. He had a great vision for comcs, or at least a great vision to what he wanted to accomplish. To paraphrase, most comic books contains fantasy of superheros flying around, talking ducks and things like that, but the content of American Splendor is real.
He wasn’t afraid to put himself in a bad light. He’s a rare writer who is honest about what he puts in a story.
He will be greatly missed.
I’m putting every Harvey Pekar work I can get from the Multnomah County Library on hold until I can get caught up on all that work. If anyone in the greater Portland Oregon area wanted some American Splendor from the County Library … my fault there. Sorry.
The Dusk of the American Splendor
(Taken from: http://www.butterfest.net/?p=501)
Harvey Pekar died today.
This was something that shocked me this morning, when i read it. He was a pioneer in a field that i am now traversing myself, and a great influence for my fellow creators.
I first learned of Harvey, thanks to Paul Giamatti. Paul played Harvey in an independent film called American Splendor. I loved the movie… and i felt really identified with Harvey.
Harvey was a dude that told you things the way he saw them, plain and simple as that, no sugar coating, no extra flavors, no additives. He offered a somewhat unfiltered view of his surroundings, something i can get behind of and approve and condone and push for, and people listened. Some of them at least… some very few.
Scott Kurtz, creator of PvP said earlier today on his Twitter feed that “Harvey Pekar paved the way for all of us who now make comics on our own terms.” I wholeheartedly agree with him. He follows that statement with: “If you’re unfamiliar with the name, look it up.” Sadly, those last lines are a testament to Harvey’s notoriety. Not many people recognized the name, and so far only those “in the know” are the ones mourning his departure. Most of those fellow comic creators i follow on Twitter, have shared their loss of this great pioneer.
It saddens me further that i need to admit that i have never, ever, read any of his comics. Such is the life of a comic book conoscieur in a country where comics are limited to those depicting the last son of Krypton -and his friends- or their Marvelous arachnic counterparts. Yes, i could’ve ordered online, and get ‘em in Amazon, and yada yada yada all that. YES! But i didn’t. Some day I will.
If you are too lazy to Google Harvey up, just click HERE. If you want to read his entry on Wikipedia, click HERE. And if you can, go get yourself a copy of American Splendor, The Movie. You would not be disappointed.
So, Godspeed Harvey… Godspeed. Thanks for all you taught us, one way or another. We will gladly carry the torch for you now.
Contents ©2023 Scott McCloud