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Harvey Pekar, RIP

Harvey PekarAs well as having an enormous influence on the development of serious, honest, personal comics, Harvey Pekar was also a genuine working-class intellectual, who worked hard to bring some real politics to America’s anemic public discourse.

Watch this great clip from 1987, when Harvey went on Late Night with David Letterman and tried to talk about the corporate crimes of General Electric (the owners of Letterman’s network NBC). Chaos ensued – and, however briefly, the veil was torn away to reveal the power of money over what gets discussed and televised. It’s an awesome thing to watch.

Harvey had a tough life, but he turned it into something beautiful and transformative. Thanks for everything, Harvey.

4 Responses to “Harvey Pekar, RIP”

  1. Thanks for this, Dylan. I love these clips – plus Letterman kept asking him back, so sometimes I think he did it on purpose, like that was the only way to air this shit publicly, though Letterman could never appear to condone what he was saying (it helps me to believe this about Letterman, who was also a friend of Warren Zevon’s.)

    Wouldn’t that be one of the best dinner parties ever? Rest well, Harvey.

  2. Michael Mead says:

    Harvey’s comics were just so well observed, tributes to ordinary life. He knew the right moment to begin and end a story and leave the reader thinking and feeling. Often I would read one of his one page stories and simultaneously marvel at the craft of making such a short series of panels work creatively and the impact that story had on me personally. He was one of my all time favourite comics creators. I’m struggling to accept that he is gone.

  3. Adam Cadwell says:

    That’s a great drawing of Pekar. I was shocked to hear that he had died. As a kind of tribute, I started a group on Flickr called Draw Harvey! which I thought you might like to see.

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/drawharvey

  4. Hey Adam – that’s a lovely set of drawings, and a perfect tribute. Feel free to put my little picture in there – I’d be honoured, if you wanted to.

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