Harvey Pekar October 8th 1939 - July 12th 2010
Writer of comic books he was at the forefront of a new treatment of comics when in 1976 he started 'American Splendor'. By using material from his daily life for his scripts he offered an alternative to what the comic- book industry and creators, mainstream or Underground, were doing at that time. A variety of artists drew the strips including the great Robert Crumb who he had met in 1952 and who drew some scripts from 1976. In Crumb’s introduction to the 1986 collection of American Splendor from Dolphin he describes the work perfectly -
“The subject matter of these stories is so staggeringly mundane, it verges on the exotic! It is disorienting at first but after a while you get with it. Myself I love it . . . Pekar has proven once and for all that even the most seemingly dreary and monotonous of lives is filled with poignancy and heroic struggle.”
By all accounts and his own admission Pekar was not an easy guy to get along with but his self belief, driven nature and the artists he was fortunate enough to team with have left us with a singular kind of surprisingly engaging reading experience
1987 - American Book Award for American Splendor
1995 Harvey Award Best Graphic Album of Original Work for Our Cancer Year.