According to Cleveland.com, comic legend Harvey Pekar, born October 8, 1939 has passed away at the age of 70. Pekar's day-to-day life and all of his events were depicted in his comic American Splendor.
Pekar was found dead in his house, in Cleveland, by his wife Joyce Brabner around 1 A.M. Monday, July 12th. The cause of death is unknown at this time, but an autopsy will take place soon to reveal why this happened.
Although he never wrote about super-powered heroes or crime fighting within this book because his book was about the "hum-drum" life of a Cleveland man, it was still a success. He collaborated many times with Robert Crumb on the book. In 1990, Pekar was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, and he struggled through his treatment. Pekar and his wife Brabner wrote Our Cancer Year, a comic about his struggles with the disease.
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Pekar's life is also depicted in the 2003 film American Splendor starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar. In addition, the film also featured Harvey Pekar as himself leading the narrative along, and it is a must watch for anyone interested in his work, even if it's just to hear the voice many people have been reading on the pages for years.
For many people, his work means a great deal. He was an independent creator whose work found was revered by many people, and he opened the doors to redefine "What makes a comic a comic." Writers don't always have to write about super-heroes, crime, violence, or action. They can take a look at "the slice-of-life" and use the real things around them, no matter how mundane they may think it is, and turn it into an entertaining or even compelling story. The most recent runs of American Splendor was publish by Vertigo in 2006 and 2008, which is the perfect place for a book like that now-a-days. Pekar truly was a legend in this industry and he will be missed.
Check out Alex Navarro's tribute to Harvey over at Screened.com.