Monday, July 12, 2010
HARVEY PEKAR R.I.P.
I didn't know the guy personally, but like a lot of us, I felt like I did. That was his art. And his greatness, in my estimation came from his determination to make of his "prosaic life"—as many critics referred to it, a work of art.
Of course he is mostly known for turning his life into a series of comic books with various comic book artists illustrating his frustrations and disappointments and occasional triumphs and transcendence. So some critics refer to his art as that of the comic book. But he made his life a work of art.
The movie that was made from some of these comics, AMERICAN SPLENDOR, is another great work of art, in part thanks to the director and the actors, but without Harvey and his words and even presence in the film it would just be a really good movie. But because of Harvey it's a truly unique and great American work of art.
May his wife and friends and admirers find solace in the significance and enormity of his achievement, which was to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, and without sacrificing one iota of his personality and character. A true original.
[Here's an obit from his hometown.]