LitBirthdays October 8, 2010

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October 8

Harvey Lawrence Pekar (born October 8, 1939) – U.S. comic book writer – American Splendor (comic book series) (1976)

Read the Wikipedia article about Harvey Pekar 

Read an essay / fumetti on Harvey Pekar

Read the New York Times obituary here

“It dawned on me that comics were not an intrinsically limited medium,” Mr. Pekar told Interview magazine in 2009. “There was a tremendous amount of things you could do in comics that you couldn’t do in other art forms — but no one was doing it. I figured if I’d make a try at it, I’d at least be a footnote in history.”

Read a July 2010 obituary for Harvey Pekar

The first issue of American Splendor came out in 1976, after Pekar had impressed the illustrator R Crumb with sketches of unglamorous goings on in Cleveland. But Pekar’s efforts were composed with stick figures as he was unable to draw, and so the final versions of his books were always collaborations with artists.

Pekar soon found a devoted, if small, readership, which followed the animated version of his travails as a filing clerk in a hospital, where he worked from 1966 until 2001; his gripes in the queue at the supermarket; or his battles with ill-health.

“It’s an autobiography written as it’s happening,” he said. “The theme is about staying alive. Getting a job, finding a mate, having a place to live, finding a creative outlet.”

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