Comic book writer Harvey Pekar dies at 70
From the AP: Harvey Pekar, whose autobiographical comic book series American Splendor portrayed his life with bone-dry honesty and wit, was found dead at home early Monday, authorities said. He was 70.
Officers were called to Pekar's suburban home by his wife about 1 a.m. His body was found between a bed and dresser. Pekar had been suffering from prostate cancer, asthma, high blood pressure and depression, Cleveland Heights police said. Pekar had gone to bed about 4:30 p.m. Sunday in good spirits, his wife told police. An autopsy was planned.
Pekar took a radically different track from the superhero-laden comics that had dominated the industry. He instead specialized in the lives of ordinary people, chronicling his life as a file clerk in Cleveland and his relationship with his third wife, Joyce Brabner. His 1994 graphic novel, Our Cancer Year, detailed his battle with lymphoma.
Pekar never drew himself but depended on collaborations with artists, most notably his friend R. Crumb, who helped illustrate the first issue of the ironically titled American Splendor, published in 1976. It was made into an acclaimed 2003 film starring Paul Giamatti. The most recent American Splendor was released in 2008.
[Photo: Pekar in 2003. AP]