Harvey Pekar's Cleveland


ClevelandJeff Newelt snapped this photo of Robert Crumb reading a copy of the recently-published book, Cleveland, one of the late Harvey Pekar's final contributions to comics. It has beautiful art by Joseph Remnant and an introduction by Alan Moore.

A lifelong resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Harvey Pekar (1939-2010) pioneered autobiographical comics, mining the mundane for magic since 1976 in his critically acclaimed series American Splendor.

Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland is sadly one of his last, but happily one of his most definitive graphic novels. It presents key moments and characters from the city's history, intertwined with Harvey's own ups and downs, as relayed to us by Our Man and meticulously researched and rendered by artist Joseph Remnant. At once a history of Cleveland and a portrait of Harvey, it's a tribute to the ordinary greatness of both.

Harvey Pekar's Cleveland


  1. I just tidied up my “to be read” shelf, and re-found what I thought was the last thing Harvey wrote. I’m glad there’s at least one more.

      1.  Hey, I found TWO! “Macedonia” (which I thought was a Sacco comic) and “Studs Turkel: Working.”

        Thanks for making me check the title.

        I bought these a day or two after hearing about Harvey dying.

          1. Whoa, thanks, now there’s a promising title, especially given Pekar’s unrelenting honesty.

  2. The REAL Robert Crumb, the BRAIN behind ZAP comix, The INVENTOR of Mr. Natural!!!!
    I BOW DEEPLY, and agree, “Never eat anything bigger than your head!”

  3. Growing up near Cleveland Harvey was an icon who showed all the grit and strife that was life on the shores of “Great Swamp Erie” Glad to hear of the new work…

  4. Pekar wrote about his experiences in the seventies and early eighties when only bad news came out of Cleveland and it was referred to as “The Mistake By The Lake”.

    You know, I hadn’t heard that nickname in decades, it just popped out of my deep and moldy memory banks, because it’s basically forgotten by the “collective unconscious”.  Positive news started coming out of Cleveland in the late eighties, about “a city on the stylish rebound”, and now it’s… there:  Cleveland, cool.  No negative connotation, no bad reputation, you turned it around.

    Pekar was a great artist and turned that old gritty Cleveland into a cultural legacy.

    My one regret about Pekar and Cleveland, is that he was neither a baseball fan nor a souse, and if you’re from Cleveland, you know what I’m talking about – June 4, 1974, that would have made an absolutely KILLER comix.

    Disclaimer:  I’ve never even been to Cleveland, I’m just a baseball history buff.

Comments are closed.