Harvey Pekar dies at 70

Beloved comic-book author Harvey Pekar has died at age 70, the Associated Press reports. Police found Pekar dead after being called by his wife to their Cleveland home. Details on the cause of death have not been announced pending an autopsy. He was reportedly ailing, with conditions including prostate cancer, asthma, high blood pressure, and depression.

Beginning in the 1970s, Pekar’s autobiographical American Splendor series attracted a growing cult following, ultimately helping change the way comic books were perceived. They were adapted into the 2003 film American Splendor, starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar.

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  • darclyte

    RIP Harvey. America just lost a little bit of its splendor.

    • J.

      Nicely put.

    • Jermaine

      and I just lost some Splenda. how am I supposed to drink my coffee? my splenda will be missed….

      • Stan Miracle

        I hate Splenda. I can’t stand this aspect of Pekar’s work- the Splenda stuff. But it’s funny, becuase his work in tea- orange pekar tea, I mean; it’s so great, right?

      • kenyty

        there is a “web//site” named “b l a c k // w h i t e // C u p i d” for d-ating or relation-ship, black or white singles can go there to find something s-e-x-y or beauty online !!!! ;)

  • andy

    OMG…this is so sad. I loved American Splendor. First, Cleveland loses LeBron, now Pekar. It is a sad day in CLeveland.

  • Ramo

    I never read his comics, but I loved American Splendor. Wonderful film. RIP.

    • G.R.

      Same here, Ramo.
      He will most certainly be missed… RIP Harvey :(

      • Stan Miracle

        The man is DEAD- why would you need to rip on him now, huh? You , madam, are a coward. You should’ve ripped on him when he was alive if you were gonna.

      • G.R.

        It means Rest In Peace.

      • Stan Miracle

        Than why is her emoticon all scowling at him like that. huh??? No, this chick is taking cheap shots @ a dead dude, just be cause he was Asian.

      • Nirveeze

        Umm…is that not a sad face emoticon, or are you joking? It’s obviously not disrespectful, just a sad face.

        And Harvey will be sorely missed. RIP Mr. Pekar.

      • G.R.

        Nirveeze is right — it is a frowning/sad emoticon.

      • Peter

        Nirveeze needs a clue.

  • AndrewJ

    That is Sad. Loved his comics. Loved the movie.

  • TVGord

    I’ll always remember his hysterical interviews with David Letterman. I hope his life wasn’t as bleak as it sounds, with all of the health problems. He deserved better, for all the enjoyment he brought to people through the years. To paraphrase darclyte’s apt words: the WORLD has lost a bit of its splendor.

  • Ronnie

    How very sad. My son, who has been working with Harvey , respected and admired him so much. We are crushed at the loss of such a great talent. RIP Harvey. :-(

    • SteevoNYC

      Is your son Sean Pryor, by chance?

      • Ronnie

        No, my son goes by the name Divine Brownhole. He is a prominent Cleveland drag performer and male escort.

      • Stan Miracle

        Not THE Divine Brownhole????? Wow- this is such a thrill- I was on same board as Divine Brownhole’s sugar mom or dad!!! Ma’am your daughter is aptly renamed- s/he is truly the new Divine! And WHAT a Brownhole!!!

  • Was It SUICIDE?

    Suicide ?

    • Dr. doom

      no, I, the evil Dr. doom, put an end to his crime-fighting career! bwa-ha-hahaha!

  • ?????

    This should be EW big story; not the usual Twilight/True Blood/Lady Gaga crap kind of crap you usually spew. Harvey Pekar was the real thing.

  • the truth

    Crappy artist, unhappy one too. Oh well…

    • Hanover fiste

      Troll,Troll, troll your boat,
      back beneath your bridge.
      Truth. Not a cool time to troll dude.

  • Hanover fiste

    I met him once, nice guy all things concidered. My prayers go out to the family and comic book world.

    • jape

      agreed. I’m praying for Spiderman and Batman right now! if the supervillians can get to Pekar, they can get to anyone!

  • boorrriing

    why do we have to read about nobodies who kick the bucket? it’d be cooler if his name was pronounced pecker.

    • Meier


      • Meier

        I mean Pekar was an idiot, not you. I fully agree that this is a boring story!

      • yawn

        You’re both idiots.

  • Meier

    you people need to get a LIFE! all this “he will be sorely missed” is pure crap! you all saw one decent movie made about him 7 years ago and now you’re acting like you’ve lost your father. seriously. make some real-world connections. date someone.

    • Heather

      Glad to know your common human empathy hasn’t gone away. You are what’s wrong with our society today. It’s all about you and scr@w the other guy.


    • Dan

      Funny to see someone so cold and rude imploring real-world connectedness. The reason someone made a movie about him 7 years ago is because he spent a lifetime doing great and innovative work in print that thousands of people enjoyed. Not you. Fine. But why take the time to publicly spread ugliness? I’ve been reading his stuff for 25 years. I knew him personally, corresponded with him. Do you get that your limited experience is not everyone else’s? One day one of the people you’ve developed a real-world connection with will die. You’ll be sad that day, but if you’re lukcy you won’t have your feelings insulted by someone like you.

      • Stan Miracle

        Dan, for real- which big and tall store do you prefer for your briefs and leisure wear?

    • Stan Miracle

      You are so right miss. You have got this NAILED! “OH he was so CUTE with that little retard he worked with. And what a neat font!”

    • Mr. Beans

      Wow, Harvey would have made a great comic story about you, that is for sure! Run along now and read about Mel Gibson. You obviously don’t belong here.

  • Heather

    Goodbye, Harvey. Thanks for everything. Here’s hoping the afterlife is a splendid place.

    Much love and gratitude.

  • Mel G

    what was his super power? obviously not immortality. I can’t seem to recall him from the comics…didn’t Superman and Batman die too, but they brought them back. they’ll prolly do the same with Peck-ar. he’ll be back keeping Cleveland safe in no time!

    • DaveO

      Having read his comics, I could say that he helped make everyday life in Cleveland a bit more splendid. That’s not a superpower, that practically a miracle.

      Oh, and if you’re going to insult a dead man, at least draw from his published works. Call him PEE-kar. That’ll do you right.

      • Stan Miracle

        dude- “Dave-o”? REALLY? That is so gay.

    • joseph deutsch

      He was a man who had a vision and plowed through to bring it to fruition, going against the grain. he’s to be commended for perseverance as well as uniqueness and it’s actually good. The cold comments here are shocking and sad.

  • cabeachguy

    I’ll quote from a Traditional Male Chauvinism comic Harvey Pekar did in the late 70’s or early 80’s……
    “I took a strong stand, I said a man should never pay a woman’s way on a date until he got ass from her. Then at least he’d be paying in appreciation and not bribery.” That my friends, is pure comic genius…lol

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