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.

— Jeff Newelt, Comics Editor
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Pekar & Rushkoff: How Life Got Incorporated Part2

We Miss You Harvey Pekar (RIP)

July 12th, 2011 by Jeff Newelt | 1,470 Comments

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 Splendor or 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.

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Pekar (RIP) & Rushkoff: A Meeting of Mighty Minds; Part Two

December 9th, 2010 by Jeff Newelt | 146 Comments

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 theorist Doug Rushkoff in Part One of 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 »

Harvey Pekar (RIP) shows off his “Jewish Chops” with guest artist Vanessa Davis

September 8th, 2010 by Jeff Newelt | 13 Comments

From "Jewish Chops" by Harvey Pekar and Vanessa Davis

From "Jewish Chops" by Harvey Pekar & Vanessa Davis

So our man has passed away and sadly didn’t get to see finished art to a handful of completed scripts, including guest artist Vanessa Davis’s charming rendering of “Jewish Chops,” here just in time for Rosh Hashanah. Davis, an outstanding autobiographical cartoonist in her own right, has a new collection out, Make Me A Woman, which was just awarded Heeb Magazine’s “Best Comic of 5770” and she recently created a lovely Harvey Pekar tribute for Tablet. Read the rest of this entry »

The Pekar T-Shirt (A Deal Harvey Would Love)

July 29th, 2010 by Larry Smith | 28 Comments

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.

Long Live Harvey Pekar—An American Splendor and then some

July 13th, 2010 by Jeff Newelt | 33 Comments

Me & Harv. When you work with Pekar you wind up in his work.

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 »

Pekar & Rushkoff Team-up to Tackle Corporatism… in a Comic!

June 25th, 2010 by Jeff Newelt | 13 Comments

art by Sean Pryor

art by Sean Pryor

A year ago, our own cuddly curmudgeon, Harvey Pekar, joined author / media theorist Doug Rushkoff on his WFMU radio show, The Media Squat, to talk about a pet peev to both authors: the corporate takeover of society. Doug recently wrote LIFE INC: How the World Became A Corporation and How to Take It Back and Harvey legendarily bashed GE on Letterman in the ’80s, so jamming on this was a natural. To create this comic, “Pekar & Rushkoff Kibbitzin’ About How Life Got Incorporated” (part one of a four-part epic collaboration), we treated the transcript of their talk like the first track laid down for a jazz record. Harvey & Doug remixed the script and then artist Sean Pryor brought the dialogue to life. Note the masterful switch in coloring technique whenever the story shifts from the conversation itself to images of subjects being talked about. Sean first collaborated with Harvey on “Gauntet of Rock” a story for Royal Flush Magazine, and has since rocked out three Pekar Project stories, “Searchin’”, “Jungle Music,” and “Two Working Stiffs.” Sean also designed and contributed a Harvey Head to the new Pekar T-shirt.

Announcing Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND

April 9th, 2010 by Jeff Newelt | 165 Comments

Harvey Pekar's CLEVELAND illustrated by Joseph Remnant

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 »

Harvey in Muncie, Indiana

March 24th, 2010 by Larry Smith | 17 Comments

Harvey Pekar HATES going to the airport. But he loves kvetching about it! In “Muncie, Indiana,” Joseph Remnant illustrates a classic Pekarian rant, the latest installment of The Pekar Project.

Graphic NYC & SMITH present PEKAR WEEK: Photo Comics, “How to Draw Harvey,” + behind the scenes features…

December 8th, 2009 by Jeff Newelt | 159 Comments

Photo Comix / Interview from GRAPHIC NYC

Pekar Photo Comix / Interview from GRAPHIC NYC

Last week, SMITH joined forces with Graphic NYC for PEKAR WEEK celebrating our man Harvey’s comics career and current collaborators on The Pekar Project.  PEKAR WEEK on Graphic NYC was produced by vunderkind photographer Seth Kushner who concocted a snazzy “fumetti” or photo comic (excerpt above) using text from Christopher Irving’s interview and Kushner’s own photos taken at King Con Brooklyn. Throughout the week, Graphic NYC presented some spectacular features (click on images below) including Dean Haspiel’s “Anatomy of an American Splendor Cover” where Dino takes you through the full creation process of the cover for American Splendor: Another Dollar; Rick Parker’s “How to Draw Harvey Pekar” where Rick takes you from bulbous oval to full-on Harvey head in 13 easy steps; “The Pekar Project: Gettin’ the Band Together” featuring Kushner’s patented potent portraiture of each Pekar Project team member, as well as comments on working with Harvey; “Origins of the Harvey Heads” where Kushner asked 12 of the 120+ artists who drew Harvey Heads for our 70th Birthday gallery to comment on doing so; + other great features. Read the rest of this entry »

Harvey Pekar & The Pekar Project: Live in Brooklyn

November 6th, 2009 by Jeff Newelt | 26 Comments

Rick Parker illustrates the Pekar Project family

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 »

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