Harvey Pekar, the gruff file clerk turned comic book writer turned movie star following 2003’s American Splendor, a film about his life, died yesterday at his home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Although the specific cause of his passing has yet to be determined, it is thought to involve one of his several serious ailments, including high blood pressure or possibly related to prostate cancer, which Mr. Pekar was recently diagnosed with. The writer’s local paper, the Plain Dealer, provides the best obituary we’ve yet read, providing a nice overview of Pekar’s life and career and including a few select quotes from both the writer himself and by those who knew him well. Here’s a bit:
In the 1994 Plain Dealer article, R. Crumb said Pekar’s work examined the minutiae of everyday life, material “so staggeringly mundane it verges on the exotic.
Pekar himself summed it up as revealing “a series of day-after-day activities that have more influence on a person than any spectacular or traumatic events. It’s the 99 percent of life that nobody ever writes about.”