Harvey Pekar: Friends remember the 'American Splendor' author

Following the sad passing of famed writer Harvey Pekar, friends have begun issuing statements mourning the beloved author of the American Splendor series, who passed away at age 70.

Paul Giamatti, who played Pekar in 2003’s American Splendor: “Harvey was one of the most compassionate and empathetic human beings I’ve ever met. He had a huge brain and an even bigger soul. And he was hilarious. He was a great artist, a true American poet, and there is no one to replace him.”

Jonathan Vankin, an editor at Vertigo who oversaw American Splendor and The Quitter: “I am terribly sad today. Working with Harvey Pekar was one of my first experiences at Vertigo and it’s still one of my best, not only in comics but in my life. Underneath the well-known gruff exterior, Harvey was a deeply compassionate person and of course, a brilliant mind. He created, almost single-handedly, an entirely new kind of comics and his commitment to what he did was absolute and uncompromising. We’ve all suffered a huge loss today, in comics of course, but also in American culture.”

Robert Pulcini, co-director of American Splendor: “Harvey Pekar was one of the few originals I’ve met in my life. He deserves to be remembered as the patron saint of Cleveland.”

Shari Springer Berman, co-director of American Splendor: “I am so sad. There will never be another Harvey Pekar. I hope he is in a place where there is a great jazz soundtrack, lots of good books, and he can make plenty of money.”

Comments (17 total) Add your comment
  • steve

    Aaaw harvey Pekar was the best!! He will be sorely missed. And to echo what his friends said, he could never be replaced, such a fun and unique individual. So sad

  • Chad

    Harvey, you showed me the joy, the sorrow, and the poetry of life. I related to your stories on a level that no other writer has yet to achieve. You will be missed, but your work will continue to be celebrated.

  • Kirk

    I only met Harvey briefly a couple of times at public appearance, but I’ve read American Splendor since the 1980s. His graphic novels were such personal, intimate slices of autobiography that I felt like he was a dear friend. The news of his death was a true punch in the gut. Harvey was truly splendid, and he will be missed.

  • Garen

    I became aware of Harvey through his appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. I always looked forward to Harvey being on the show and mixing it up with Dave. I bought a few of his comics because of those apperarances, and I loved the movie American Splendor. Harvey seemed like one of a kind. RIP, Harvey.

  • earnest

    aids finally got him. I told him all his debauchery would catch up with him one day…

    • yawn

      Just as someday your maliciousness will catch up with you.

    • hank wait

      you sir are an ass

  • Meier

    I’d hoped there was something from Tobey Radloff here. RIP Harvey Pekar.

  • chuck

    “there’s a reliable disappointment”

  • pancakes

    Losing a brilliant mind and artist like Harvey puts in perspective how little Cleveland lost when Lebron went to Miami. Unfortunately, most Clevelanders probably don’t feel that way.

    • Mar

      Completely agree. I’ll be visiting some of his hangouts this week, toasting him all the way.

    • hank wait

      well said

    • LP

      Actually pancakes, many of us in Cleveland do feel that way. Perhaps a lot of the sports fans in the suburbs don’t but those of us who actually live in Cleveland know what a treasure Harvey was.

  • Jane Doe

    American Splendor was one of the best films every made. You did us proud Harvey, and were worth so much more than the wretched #23. You were a true Clevelander in every way – tough, gritty, honest, loyal, possessed of a backbone of steel and a heart of gold, funny as hell, and most important -uncompromising in your integrity. You were a real hero.

    RIP, Harvey. You will be sorely missed.

  • Mark

    Harvey Pekar was the epitome of a true Clevelander. He did us proud with American Splendor and showed that you don’t have to wear a cape and fly to be a true hero. I’m more upset about his passing than losing the basketball playing egotistical jerk who now plays for the Miami Heat. RIP Harvey.

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  • seh

    Havey Pekar was the Mark Twain of the 20th century.

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