CLEVELAND – Comic-book writer Harvey Pekar (PEE'-kahr), whose "American Splendor" was made into a 2003 film starring Paul Giamatti, has been found dead in his Ohio home.
Coroner's spokesman Powell Caesar in Cleveland says an autopsy will be performed. He had no details on the death of the 70-year-old Pekar.
Cleveland Heights police Capt. Michael Cannon says officers were called to Pekar's home by his wife about 1 a.m. Monday. Cannon says Pekar had been suffering from prostate cancer, asthma, high blood pressure and depression.
Pekar's "American Splendor" comics, which he began publishing in 1976, chronicle his grousing about work, money and the monotony of life.
American Splendor was one of the few "comic books" I still read. Pekar was an innovator in the comic field who demonstrated that comics could be so much more than dipshit superheroes running around in their long underwear. Pekar's comics were slice of life narratives about his job, co-workers, & neighbors in Cleveland that were as artistically valid as any novel.
While Pekar spent many years churning out his stories in almost complete obscurity, working a day job as a VA file clerk, he did find one media home on the old David Letterman show. To Pekar's credit, he never appeared to kiss Letterman's ass, often peppering Dave with uncomfortable questions & oodles of attitude.
Harvey, you will be missed. It's a pity the comic field never followed your lead, preferring to milk the pocketbooks of stunted middle aged adolescents who have never been able to dispense with their Batman addictions.
Rest In Peace.