Harvey Pekar, RIP

 Artistphotos Harveypekar
Legendary underground comic writer Harvey Pekar died today. He was 70-years-old. Pekar's seminal autobiographical comic book series, American Splendor, will forever embody the genius and influence he brought to the form.

"The humor of everyday life is way funnier than what the comedians do on TV. It's the stuff that happens right in front of your face when there's no routine and everything is unexpected." - Harvey Pekar (1939-2010)
"Cleveland comic-book legend Harvey Pekar dead at age 70"


  1. I am seriously a bit heartbroken over this today. I kinda thought he’d be there forever, being all cranky and awesome. Thinking of Joyce today.

  2. A terrible loss, that so many will not even be aware of. Mr. Pekar deserves all the accolades he earned, and more. He reminds us all what it is to be human, even – especially – here at the end. Everyone dies, but some will missed more than others for the works they did while the were here. RIP, Harvey.

  3. Sad to hear that, for his family, friends, and (selfishly) myself. I’ve always enjoyed his work and deep insights. He’ll be missed.

  4. Man, I just got around to reading American Splendor two weeks ago. What a sad coincidence to see him die while my mind is still on his work.

  5. I never met him, and he never knew I existed, but I’m grieving as if I’ve lost a friend.

    You always think that there’ll be time to write to someone you admire, or call an old friend, or hug someone you love… And there is, until there isn’t.

    Go do it, now.

  6. This is so way bummer news. Pekar was a genuine American crank-genius.

    I was looking forward to more of his profile-comics.


  7. his broken spirit showed us how loveable people are when they dont try to cover up…

    im heartbroken too.

  8. Strike one from the list of folks I’d like to meet. Add one to the list of folks I’ll never get to meet. Dammit. My condolences to those who loved him.

  9. I think of Harvey Pekar and I’m instantly transported back to my salad days watching him on Late Night with David Letterman (RIP) in the San Jose State dorms (RIP Allen Hall), circa 1987.

    Thanks Harvey, you appeared at the right time of my life to teach me that it’s possible to make something of myself without pleasing everybody. “Of course! Why not?” I hear him say in my head.

  10. Harvey had been playing (living?) the “cranky old man” role so long it’s hard to believe he was only 70. If there’s a heaven then it has a new angel tonight, screeching about the gawdy decor and hanging out with the 20th century’s greatest jazz musicians.

  11. Coolness: Pekar’s death was the second story in the hourly news update on NPR just now.

  12. His work fundamentally changed how I looked at comics, and how I thought about other peoples’ lives. Pekar was something else, and I am tremendously saddened by his passing.

  13. harvey definitely knew how to show that, “truth is stranger than fiction.”

    my deepest condolences to joyce & danielle.

    i was fortunate enough to have met him & joyce, buying their comics for the “funny papers” shop i was working at when they were in austin during the late 90s… back when the chronicle started running his column reviewing jazz records & etc.:
    and i wept when i heard about his passing…. my fondest regards to a real american anti-hero!

  14. I grew up in Cleveland Hts., and Harvey has been over to my parents’ house. He was a real Clevelander.

  15. American Splendor was the first “blog” in the modern sense of the writing form — if Harvey were 30-40 years younger he would have been blogging.

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