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Rest In Splendor

July 29, 2010

I’ve been meaning to pay tribute to HARVEY PEKAR the author of the acclaimed comic series American Splendor, who died two weeks ago.  I know, that’s like 1987 in Internet Years, but I haven’t had a moment to do it.  As my friend Matt said, he was one of the original artists in the office.  He worked his entire adult life as a file clerk at the VA hospital in Cleveland, while also writing reviews of jazz records and penning the stories behind American Splendor.  His job and many of his co-workers appeared within the pages of Splendor.  He kept his job, not only because he couldn’t quite make a living from his writing, but because it gave him structure and a place to go.  As he said, “Who am I kidding?  I’d be lost without my job.”

He was crabby, difficult, and a natural contrarian.  He was also an American original.

Harvey, thank you for your great effort.

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