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Comic book artist Harvey Pekar dies at 70

A tough week for Cleveland. From the Associated Press:

Pekar "Comic-book writer Harvey Pekar, whose American Splendor was made into a 2003 film starring Paul Giamatti, has been found dead in his Ohio home.

Coroner's spokesman Powell Caesar in Cleveland says an autopsy will be performed. He had no details on the death of the 70-year-old Pekar.

Cleveland Heights police Capt. Michael Cannon says officers were called to Pekar's home by his wife about 1 a.m. Monday. Cannon says Pekar had been suffering from prostate cancer, asthma, high blood pressure and depression.

Pekar's American Splendor comics, which he began publishing in 1976, chronicle his grousing about work, money and the monotony of life."

I spoke with novelist/comic book writer/crazed comics fan Brad Meltzer about Pekar, and here's what he had to say:

"I met Harvey a couple of years ago in New York. We were on a panel together, and he was ranting on how there were no good superhero comics anymore, that they were all for children. I pulled him aside and said, 'When was the last time you read a superhero comic, in the 1940s? There's great stuff out there, and you're just missing it.' So I told him he should read this and this . . . and two weeks later I picked up a message on my phone, and it's Harvey, and he says, 'I want you to know, Brad, I read those books and some of them were pretty OK.' He was just the greatest kind of crank, the crank with a soul inside him. That's what made him an amazing person and why so many people loved him.''


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He was a character. I always loved him on Letterman and how he was treated as a sort of "pet" and then the GE strike appearance and then I guess he didn't seem as fun and kooky anymore....

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I really loved AMERICAN SPLENDOR and thought that the filmmakers did justice to him and his worldview

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