Harvey Pekar's been mining the mundane for magic for more than 30 years in his autobiographical American Splendor comics. Now he has teamed with SMITH and artists Joseph Remnant, Rick Parker, Sean Pryor, and special guests — to create his first ongoing webcomic series. New stories appear every other week, with interviews, creator spotlights, and behind-the-scenes goodies.
Kinda crazy that it’s been a year since Harvey Pekar passed — July 12, 2010. We miss him, but there he is, still so very alive in comics, his autobiographical oeuvre an unassuming monument to himself. Peep any volume of American Splendoror the strips in our archive, and he’s still eatin’ donuts, drinkin’ orange soda, pokin’ fun at Toby, and complainin’ how he was never able to make a livin’ from just makin’ comics. Today we show love for our man with two new tributes: a live reading / motion comic video of JUNGLE MUSIC, a Pekar Project strip drawn by Sean Pryor, performed by myself, and shot/edited by Shahriar Shadab.
“Harvey Pekar is my hero, an intellectual everyman, and every man’s intellectual, looking at the modern experience through the eyes of a deeply human human being,” said author/media theoristDoug Rushkoffin Part Oneof a four-part meeting of the minds on WFMU last year. The late great Pekar chatted with Rushkoff on his WFMU radio show, “The Media Squat,” about corporatism, regionalism, the mortgage crisis, Pekar’s GE-bashing on Letterman, and even an American Splendor play Rushkoff directed in theater school. Read the rest of this entry »
When we created the “Harvey Heads” T-shirt drawn from the 120+ portraits that an incredible collection of artists/Harvey enthusiasts made as a surprise for the late Harvey Pekar’s 70th birthday, we knew it was cool, but had no intention for it to be a collector’s item. Now with Harvey’s passing wearing the T-shirt takes on a new meaning (and every time I wear it, it sparks a conversation about Pekar with a stranger; a lovely thing). This weekend Spreadshirt is offering free shipping for its partner shops such as SMITH (on the Pekar shirt, a Six-Word Memoir shirt, or any SMITH apparel), so I thought it would be a good time to let everyone know about the Pekar tee again. It’s wearable tribute to a master storyteller, one we miss an awful lot. Use these coupon codes when you checkout: FREEWEEKEND (U.S.), CADFREEWEEKEND (Canada).
You can order your Pekar tee or hoodie here. For more on the making of the Harvey Heads (spearheaded by Pekar Project editor, Jeff Newelt), and a list of the nine artists who contributed to the T-shirt, read an earlier post. Above: a postcard I received from artist Rick Reilly. Rick’s Pekar tee had just arrived and he was moved to record that moment in the best way he knows how.
Me & Pekar. When you work with him, you wind up in his work. Art by Joseph Remnant.
Maybe it’s because Harvey Pekar was such an everyman, because he wrote about everyday trials and tribulations of everyday people, of himself and the other lives he chronicled in American Splendor and here in The Pekar Project; maybe it’s because of this universal identifiability that a wave of sadness, like a collective family member passed, swept across social and regular media when news spread of Harvey’s death on July 12, 2010. Read the rest of this entry »
Coming out in the Summer of 2011, Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND will be a 120+ page graphic novel written by Harvey, illustrated by Pekar Project artist Joseph Remnant, and published by independent ZIP Comics. The book covers familiar American Splendor-ous autobiographical territory and weaves in chunks of Cleveland history, including the Indians winning the 1948 World Series, the notorious 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River as well as profiles of cool Clevelanders like Charles Ruthenberg, leader of the city’s Communist party whose ashes were buried in the Kremlin wall and Jane Edna Hunter, a black social worker who formed the Working Girls Association in 1911 and would come up from down South to find apartments for black women. And of course cameos by Pekarverse regulars like Toby the Genuine Nerd.Read the rest of this entry »
This Saturday & Sunday 11/7 & 11/8, Harvey Pekar makes a rare convention appearance, at KING CON BROOKLYN with the full Pekar Project “band” including artists Tara Seibel, Rick Parker, Sean Pryor, Joseph Remnant. On Saturday, Harvey takes the stage for a discussion with the team. Harvey & the artists will also be doing signings on both days, and the artists will draw FREE Harvey Heads all weekend at the Pekar Project table. Available at King Con will be Royal Flush 6 with a story by Harvey & Sean Pryor as well as a new mini-comic by Tara Seibel including solo as well as Pekar Project work. Read the rest of this entry »