Harvey Pekar Dead at 70

Harvey Pekar is one of those comic creators who I think a lot of us think we know fairly well.  Through his work, he gave readers access to his life in a way that many never do, good sides and bad.

So it was with no small amount of sadness that I learned Pekar had died today at the age of 70.  He's easily one of the most important figures in independent comics since his first American Splendor comic in 1976, and had been working almost up to the present. His goal was to showcase and explore the intracasies of normal life, and what happens to a regular guy, working in opposition to the preconceived notion of what comics are.

His wife Joyce found Pekar early this morning after having passed away. He'd notably suffered with prostate cancer, as well as various other maladies for years.

There isn't a time where I heard his voice and his unique perspective on the world that didn't enthuse me.  His story is a fascinating one, and while he always professed to be a regular guy, his life was anything but.  We will definitely miss him.


  1. This is truly a sad day for the industry

  2. Sad, sad news. Truly a great writer.

  3. Rest in Peace you wonderful curmudgeon.


    the Tiki 

  4. he’s one of the key reasons why i got back into comics in my mid-teens. a true legend!

  5. What sad news. RIP Harvey

  6. Wow. That’s terrible news

  7. A true comics legend is lost. RIP

  8. Not a good couple of past months for industry legends.  Knock on wood that that ‘rule of three’ is enacted adn this is the end of it.

  9. Love his writing.

    Love me Bukowski so love me what I consider his comic book equivalent.

  10. Man this year has seen a lot of brilliant creators pass on. Let’s hope for a healthier 2011.

    RIP Harvey. One of the best.

  11. Wow, on my way home from work I had a strange urge to watch the American Splendor only to come home and see this.

    Sad news but the guy was a fighter, beat every disease that was slung his way.

  12. *American Splendor movie

  13. "The Harvey Pekar Name Story" is still one of the most profound stories Ive ever read in a comic.


    When I heard he had passed, I cried a bunch. I would never have actually started writing and doodling my own comics if not for this man and his work. 

  14. This is a terrible loss.  His slice of life stories are some the best comics I’ve ever read. 

  15. This is so sad.


  16. Sad to see such a legend leave us.

    May he rest in peace and his family and friends get through this

  17. What a shame that such an amazing person has left us. He didn’t write stories, so much as tell them, and it was a truly unique style that they were told in. I’ll miss him.

  18. Another legend gone. RIP

  19. aw man 🙁 probably the reason why I know that comics can be more than superheroes, this is really sad

  20. That’s too bad.  A truly unique voice.  I loved the American Splendor movie and his comics.  Thoughts and prayers to his family.

  21. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read American Splendor.  I’ll have to remedy that as soon as possible.

  22. Peculiar man made a great movie. Inspired work…

  23. RIP. I loved American Splendor.

  24. first i leave cleveland, then lebron, then this news. Cleveland is hurting right now 🙁

  25. Mortality sucks. RIP Harvey.

  26. RIP. Very depressing.

  27. RIP Harvey.  I admit to not having read any of the comics, but American Splendor the movie is one of my favorites.

  28. Very sad.  I didn’t read anything but independent comics until the past couple of years (a move that was partially inspired by the fact that that’s all the public liberary had) and American Splendor was the first american comic I ever read.  Depressing, damaged and deviant, but most importantly honest, it was dear to my bizarre little teenage heart.  Sad, sad, sad.

  29. Rest in Peace–his was a singular voice, and more infulential than anyone believes

  30. man that sucks. i liked his work.

  31. RIP Harvey