It’s been a year since Harvey Pekar passed away at the age of 70, but thanks to the amount of work he had in the pipeline, not only has his legacy lived on, but it’s still growing. And friends are remembering. At Smith Magazine, there’s a comprehensive roundup of remembrances with the motion comic/reading below, read by Jeff Newelt, drawn by Sean Pryor, and shot/edited by Shahriar Shadab.
At Juxtapoz, there’s an interview from July 2010 with vintage Harvey:
Yeah! They’re all good. Some of them are more than good. I have been able to write stories. I was, and still am, publishing graphic novels. And when you do a graphic novel there needs to be four per year to get by. I can’t live on my pension and social security, can’t make it that way, so I have to work.
I would hear from people that this stuff was really good. I would hear indirectly that they got some real good emails or something like that. Maybe people were lying to me, but it seemed like it was overwhelmingly a good response. The thing is, when I put out these four books, my best work I always think is autobiographical. But there is only so much autobiographical stuff I can do. I can’t always write four autobiographical graphic novels a year. I guess that would flood the market; but I still want to do them, so this project is an outlet.
Seth Kushner’s Culture-Pop photo-comic at ACT-I-VATE is also a tribute to Pekar;
The 25-page piece, the 25th CulturePOP profile, features photos of the autobio comix pioneer, taken by Kushner just a few months prior to his untimely death, fused with quotes by an interview conducted by Christopher Irving the day of the shoot, to make a “fumetti” / photocomix equivalent to an American Splendor comic.
In addition to the words of Pekar himself, the piece includes photos of, quotes from, and illustrations by some of Pekar’s collaborators; Josh Neufeld (artist, American Splendor), Dean Haspiel, (artist, The Quitter + American Splendor), Jeff Newelt (editor, Pekar Project & upcoming Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland), Ted Hope (American Splendor film producer), Joseph Remnant (artist, Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND) Shari Springer-Berman & Robert Pulcini (directors, American Splendor film) and Michael Taylor (script supervisor). Plus, Joyce Brabner, Harvey’s widow and collaborator talks about her plan to have a monument erected to Harvey in Cleveland.
As mentioned before, Pekar left several projects behind: Huntington, West Virginia “On The Fly,” illustrated by Summer McClinton came out earlier this year. Coming up are YIDDISHKEIT edited by Pekar and Paul Buhle; Not The Israel My Parents Promised Me, illustrated by virtuoso vunderkind JT Waldman; Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND, illustrated by Joseph Remnant, and on the Pekar Project, the last two parts of Pekar & Rushkoff: How Life Got Incorporated, illustrated by Sean Pryor. Finally, Pekar’s widow, Joyce Brabner, is working on several graphic novel projects of her own.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.