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Harvey Pekar

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ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2003 | Victoria Looseleaf
Growing up in Cleveland, a much-maligned city, Harvey Pekar was also mocked -- because of his weird-sounding name. Years later, in 1976, Pekar took matters into his own hands: He began writing -- not only about his moniker and the city he's called home for the last 63 years, but also about his working-stiff, bum-steer kind of life. These trials, tribulations and torments of Pekar's soul gave birth to the comic book "American Splendor." Illustrated by a smorgasbord of cartoonists, including Robert Crumb, the autobiographical tomes now number 28. While cranking out comics, the existential scribe supported himself doing 37 years of file clerk servitude at Cleveland's Veterans Affairs hospital.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 6, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman's debut feature, the offbeat comic book adaptation "American Splendor," was greeted with so much success when it came out in 2003 that the filmmaking duo couldn't imagine things going any other way. "We had this level of delusion that a lot of first-time filmmakers have but maybe multiplied because of the reception," Pulcini said of the Paul Giamatti movie, which HBO's film division allowed them...
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NEWS
August 14, 2003 | Iris Schneider
Harvey PEKAR is busy these days. Not in the way he's usually busy -- chronicling his life in "American Splendor," the comic book -- but busy being wined, dined, interviewed, photographed and flown across the country to promote "American Splendor," the movie. But he wasn't too busy for a quick bite at the Four Seasons Hotel, where he was staying last week.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 21, 2011 | Melissa Maerz
There has never been a truly "normal" family on television, just as there's never been a truly "normal" family in real life. But perhaps the closest anyone ever came to either notion was the 1973 documentary series "An American Family," a social experiment that unintentionally spawned the entire genre of reality television and challenged ideas about what the average family was supposed to be. Originally intended as an ordinary look at the Louds,...
OPINION
July 19, 2010
What's behind the veil Re "French National Assembly approves ban on face veils," July 14 A recent Pew survey reported that more than 60% of Europeans favor the ban on full-face veils and only 28% of Americans do. This indicates to me that Europeans have a better appreciation for the ideal of true liberty for all individuals, an ideal for which our forefathers and mothers fought: the freedom to pursue self-chosen goals in life. Can a person whose face is always hidden in public realistically run for public office, be hired as a physician or as a schoolteacher, or serve in the military?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2010 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Harvey Pekar, the Cleveland comic book author who made prickly honesty about everyday life into an artistic credo and whose outward aspect of dour dishevelment masked a passionate, elegant intellect, has died. He was 70. Pekar was found dead early Monday by his wife, writer Joyce Brabner, at home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, said Powell Caesar, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County coroner's office. An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death. Best known for his sporadic, dyspeptic and largely autobiographical comic series "American Splendor," which started in 1976 and later inspired a feature film, Pekar forged a distinct authorial voice — and a popular persona — that fused caustic and frequently self-lacerating wit, Rust Belt stoicism, casual bohemianism and shrewd observations about quotidian human existence.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 15, 2003 | Manohla Dargis, Times Staff Writer
The sweet-and-sour independent movie "American Splendor" traces the tough, low-rent times of one Harvey Pekar -- file clerk, jazz aficionado, curmudgeon supreme, friend of comic book legend Robert Crumb and nemesis of late-night host David Letterman. For the past three decades, the Cleveland native and various illustrators have collaborated on a mordantly amusing comic, also known as "American Splendor," that details his encounters with feckless women, boring jobs, illness and his own anguish.
NEWS
January 26, 1995 | BUDDY SEIGAL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
For those who have witnessed any of comic-book author Harvey Pekar's eight appearances on "The Late Show With David Letterman," it's an easy call: This man must be a raving lunatic. With his unkempt appearance, rolling eyeballs, street-hip Cleveland accent and confrontational personality, Pekar is a far cry from the usual sea of self-congratulatory Ultra-Bright smiles and plasti-glam demeanors.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2010
With all due respect to Superman, "Titans of the Graphic Novel" features two authors who have shown that comic books are a fertile medium for introspection and autobiography: Harvey Pekar, who for decades has chronicled his mundane adventures in "American Splendor," and Alison Bechdel, the creator of the illustrated memoir "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic." UCLA's Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. 8 p.m. Fri. $24-$48. (310) 825-4401. http://www.uclalive.org.
BOOKS
July 12, 1987 | Robin V. Russin, Russin, a Rhodes scholar, taught art history and drawing for several years. He is now a practicing artist and screenwriter
I believe it was Pat Oliphant who in a recently televised speech announced that we are now living in a golden age--of cartoonists. He spoke in reference to political cartoonists, but the same applies to the field as a whole. In our short-attention-span, media-oriented culture, cartoons have achieved a new status, whether in the pungent satire of a Garry Trudeau, the bizarre natural history of a Gary Larson or the wry humor of a Bill Watterson. They are filmic, telling their stories frame by frame, but remain manageable, concrete, personal.
OPINION
July 19, 2010
What's behind the veil Re "French National Assembly approves ban on face veils," July 14 A recent Pew survey reported that more than 60% of Europeans favor the ban on full-face veils and only 28% of Americans do. This indicates to me that Europeans have a better appreciation for the ideal of true liberty for all individuals, an ideal for which our forefathers and mothers fought: the freedom to pursue self-chosen goals in life. Can a person whose face is always hidden in public realistically run for public office, be hired as a physician or as a schoolteacher, or serve in the military?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2010 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
Harvey Pekar, the Cleveland comic book author who made prickly honesty about everyday life into an artistic credo and whose outward aspect of dour dishevelment masked a passionate, elegant intellect, has died. He was 70. Pekar was found dead early Monday by his wife, writer Joyce Brabner, at home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, said Powell Caesar, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County coroner's office. An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death. Best known for his sporadic, dyspeptic and largely autobiographical comic series "American Splendor," which started in 1976 and later inspired a feature film, Pekar forged a distinct authorial voice — and a popular persona — that fused caustic and frequently self-lacerating wit, Rust Belt stoicism, casual bohemianism and shrewd observations about quotidian human existence.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 2010 | By David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Here's a phrase you don't often hear in regard to Harvey Pekar: role model. And yet, it seems an apt description of the iconoclastic comics genius, who was found dead early Monday at age 70 in his Cleveland Heights, Ohio, home. Think about it — a longtime VA hospital file clerk with no ability to draw, Pekar essentially reinvented himself, in his 30s, as the creator of "American Splendor," perhaps the greatest of all the underground comics. It is difficult to imagine the subsequent history of the form without its influence.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2010
With all due respect to Superman, "Titans of the Graphic Novel" features two authors who have shown that comic books are a fertile medium for introspection and autobiography: Harvey Pekar, who for decades has chronicled his mundane adventures in "American Splendor," and Alison Bechdel, the creator of the illustrated memoir "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic." UCLA's Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. 8 p.m. Fri. $24-$48. (310) 825-4401. http://www.uclalive.org.
BOOKS
October 15, 2006 | R. Sikoryak, R. Sikoryak's cartoons have appeared in Drawn & Quarterly, Nickelodeon Magazine and on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."
[Note: Review presented as a comic strip. See archived page for full content. Text of comic strip not included here.]
BOOKS
November 20, 2005 | David L. Ulin, David L. Ulin is book editor of The Times.
----- The Contract With God Trilogy Life on Dropsie Avenue Will Eisner W.W. Norton: 498 pp., $35 ----- The Quitter Harvey Pekar Art by Dean Haspiel DC/Vertigo: unpaged, $19.99 ONE of the most interesting developments in contemporary literature is the emergence of comics as a confessional medium, a mirror for the examined life. It's a shift that has its roots in the underground comics of the 1960s; R.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2004 | From Associated Press
Harvey Pekar, the cult comic book hero and inspiration for the acclaimed film "American Splendor," has agreed to write three graphic novels for Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Inc. Pekar's first work for Ballantine, a "sequel of sorts" to "American Splendor," will come out this fall. "American Splendor" starred Paul Giamatti as Pekar and Hope Davis as his wife and collaborator, Joyce Brabner.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2004 | From Associated Press
Harvey Pekar, the cult comic book hero and inspiration for the acclaimed film "American Splendor," has agreed to write three graphic novels for Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Inc. Pekar's first work for Ballantine, a "sequel of sorts" to "American Splendor," will come out this fall. "American Splendor" starred Paul Giamatti as Pekar and Hope Davis as his wife and collaborator, Joyce Brabner.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 17, 2003 | Victoria Looseleaf
Growing up in Cleveland, a much-maligned city, Harvey Pekar was also mocked -- because of his weird-sounding name. Years later, in 1976, Pekar took matters into his own hands: He began writing -- not only about his moniker and the city he's called home for the last 63 years, but also about his working-stiff, bum-steer kind of life. These trials, tribulations and torments of Pekar's soul gave birth to the comic book "American Splendor." Illustrated by a smorgasbord of cartoonists, including Robert Crumb, the autobiographical tomes now number 28. While cranking out comics, the existential scribe supported himself doing 37 years of file clerk servitude at Cleveland's Veterans Affairs hospital.
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