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Harvey Pekar, ‘American Splendor’ author, dies at 70

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The Cleveland Plain-Dealer is reporting that Harvey Pekar, the singular and acerbic voice of underground comics who brought a new autobiographical candor and rhythm to the medium, has died. Here’s an excerpt from the obituary by the paper’s Joanna Connors.

Harvey Pekar’s life was not an open book. It was an open comic book. Pekar chronicled his life and times in the acclaimed autobiographical comic-book series, “American Splendor,” portraying himself as a rumpled, depressed, obsessive-compulsive “flunky file clerk” engaged in a constant battle with loneliness and anxiety. Pekar, 70, was found dead shortly before 1 a.m. today by his wife, Joyce Brabner, in their Cleveland Heights home, said Powell Caesar, spokesman for Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Pekar and his wife, Joyce Brabner, wrote “Our Cancer Year,” a book-length comic, after Pekar was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1990 and underwent a grueling treatment.

Check back here at “Hero Complex” for more coverage.

-- Geoff Boucher

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PHOTO: Harvey Pekar in 2003 (Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times)


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