July 13th, 2010
03:30 PM ET

Remembering comic book legend Harvey Pekar

The passing of respected comic book writer Harvey Pekar brought out bits of nostalgia in fans from all walks of life - from Marquee blog commenters to celebrities.

Paul Giamatti, who played the lauded writer in the 2003 critically-acclaimed film adaptation of Pekar's "American Splendor" series, has said that Pekar “was one of the most compassionate and empathetic human beings" he'd ever met. "He had a huge brain and an even bigger soul," Giamatti said. "And he was hilarious. He was a great artist, a true American poet, and there is no one to replace him.”

For Patton Oswalt, there was "a little less splendor" in the day.  "Gonna pour out a little orange soda for the man," the comedian tweeted. Rob Zombie, on the other hand, will remember Pekar as "an American classic."

Commenters at the Marquee Blog also shared their memories.

In a very Pekar-esque comment, "Dave" said, "I bet being dead really ticks him off. It's so inconvenient, and everybody makes such a fuss, and the lines to get into the cemetery are so long. And there's so much paperwork, and have you seen what funerals cost nowadays?

Pekar's memorably combative appearances on "Late Night with David Letterman" were remembered as well, by "Nyarlathotep," among others: "Harvey Pekar was probably the best guest Letterman ever had, mostly because Letterman thought he'd gotten a second Larry 'Bud' Melman to mock, but Harvey proved to be something Dave could never tame."

"ex-Clevelander II," had a lot to say: "I met Harvey shortly after I started work at the Wade Park VA....Harvey was addicted to jazz, and to maintain and grow his collection of albums (which numbered in the thousands), he required an influx of cash beyond that provided by his salary." The commenter remarked that "In those days, before the advent of 'American Splendor,' Harvey would come around the hospital with his hand-drawn comics, essentially stick figures, and witty dialog. Harvey wrote about what he saw: in the VA, in the Coventry neighborhood, and wherever else life took him. His ability to see the humor and the dignity in the mundane stuff of everyday life was a sheer delight."

And the comment left by rob bennett is one certainly shared by other Pekar fans. "We will miss your blatant honesty and cynicism," bennett wrote. "Thanks for all the years ....all the comics... and all the life lessons."


soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Although Paul Giamatti played a great Harvey Pekar, the real Harvey Pekar should've acted in his own movie in "American Splendor." I wished he could've made a few movies. A true gem that will be missed.

    July 16, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Will

    Check out the Pekar Project if you want to see his newest comics online for free.

    July 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ZoundHound

    Sorry-what I can't explain is why it stuck in my head for over a decade?

    July 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ZoundHound

    For reasons I can't explain, a one 1-pager he wrote, illustrated by Robert Crumb was of a dialogue in an elevator
    with a fellow employee giving a brief him a short tidbit of wisdom. It gave me the impression,
    Harvey listened to the ordinary guy, and could see a "gold nugget" in everyday conversation when others wouldn't
    notice.
    .

    July 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bobroberts

    Please read "American Splendor" if nothing else. Some of the comic panels are so true that I have read them time and again. He really conveys one's innermost thoughts about life and relationships. He talks about the juxtapositions of human behaviour, when you actually absorb his work it is amazing how moving it is.

    July 15, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. N

    Sad face.

    July 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |

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