Monday, July 12, 2010

In Memoriam: Harvey Pekar 1939-2010

Writer of the autobiographical comic book American Splendor

"I try and write the way things happen. I don't try and fulfill people`s wishes."

10 comments:

  1. I have to keep reminding myself of things like this. When I started my blog, it was just for me, then after I started reading comments, I became aware I was adjusting what I wrote because of a perceived audience. Sometimes I just want to say, "Damnhellshitfuckblowbitescrew," and be done with it.

    Loved your links to Harvey's comic book drawings.

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  2. @Kass--I also sometimes adjust what I write because of that percieved audience. A little too much of that, though, and I end up rebelling and writing something that I'm sure will offend everybody. Guess what? Those sometimes end up being my most popular posts.

    Glad you liked the links. However, I have to point out that Harvey was a comic book WRITER, not artist. Three of the four drawings I provided links to were done by the great Robert Crumb, best known for the "Keep on Truckin'" posters of the 1960s, though that hardly scratches the surface. Crumb worked for American Greetings in Cleveland for a few years in the early 60s. Him and Harvey Pekar were avid jazz record collectors, and that's how they met.

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  3. it's hard enough fulfilling our own wishes, much less someone else's. then i wonder how many of what we perceive to be our own wishes in fact belong to others, that we unknowingly absorbed. and then i wonder how this applies to photography.
    i'm wondering all over the place.
    i think the heat's getting to me.

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  4. Excellent advice for any would be writer. Here's a link to the movie American Splendor online:

    http://divxonly.com/comedy/american-splendor-2003/

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  5. @standing--I don't think the heat is getting to you. My next major post is ostensibly about a recent sports controversy, but actually deals with dreams and wishes and fantasies (and the people who make money off of them).

    @Tag--I like that the real Harvey Pekar was in the movie along with the actor who played him.

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  6. Thanks for that bit-o-crumb explanation. Off to look him up now on google.

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  7. Finally got around to watching the movie last night. Sorry I missed the comic books. For a file clerk Harvey sure had an interesting life.

    WV I wonder what happened to Harvey's collection of teniche jazz records?

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  8. All of his comics that I've read have been in book collections. I have one at home titled BOB AND HARV'S COMICS that has comics written by Pekar and drawn by Robert Crumb. Like Charles Bukowski (whom he's been compared to), Pekar just kept putting out material until an audience eventually found him.

    Pekar may very well have gotten rid of some of those jazz records. In that BOB AND HARVE collection, there's a story detailing Pekar's addiction to record collecting. It got so bad, Pekar actually tried to steal a record from a radio station where a friend worked. After that, according to the story, he quit collecting cold turkey, and with the money he saved, self-published American Splendor on a yearly basis.

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  9. @Tag--I went back and re-read your comment and just now noticed the WV before your question about the jazz records. I didn't see it the first time, which is why I gave a straight answer. The heat has affected my eyesight.

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  10. The wv reference was to the 10 inch 78's. Another fascinating piece of information on Harvey's life. In the soundtack for the movie their was a lot of good jazz I didn't recognize.

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