Monday, July 12, 2010

RIP Harvey Pekar

The comic's community got a bit of terrible news this week. Independent comics legend Harvey Pekar passed away. Even if you never read his comics, you may have heard about the film based on his life.

I didn't really know him very well, but I did get to work with him once. I remember the "script" he sent, which was a hand drawn layout of sorts with stick figures and dialogue above them. It was all fleshed out, but still left wide open for me to interpret as I saw fit. I think the script had 6 panels on page one, and like 13 on page two! I laughed and went ahead and made the comic 6 pages and added some visual gags including a bit with a giant inhaler and some sharks. I was very worried that this wouldn't jibe with how Harvey's books traditionally look, but he was completely open to how I told his story. It was truly a colaboration.

I really enjoyed working with Harvey and saw first hand how unique a comic creator he was. In a world where so many creators are interchangeable as cogs, Harvey was truly his own man. There won't be anyone to take his place, and comics is a sadder place now that he's passed.

If I can dig up his script, I'll post that too.

Rest in Peace Harvey. We'll miss you.

*Edit - asks "What was your favorite Harvey Pekar moment?"


hkphan said...

Gotta admit, I'd never heard of Harvey Pekar until the movie "American Splendor" came out. That movie inspired me to check into his work and I was NOT disappointed. No one before him or since has been able to capture the normal and mundane with as much fascination. You' ll be missed Harvey. Rest in Peace.

Mike D. said...

Harvey was a Helluva guy...having read several of his several Graphic novels and seen the movie....he made a beautiful self portrait in the comic book form of sequential art. Rest Easy Harvey , rest in peace.