Harvey Pekar died today at age 70. He was a writer best known as the subject of a superb biographical film, “American Splendor.”
Pekar was an exceptional man who struggled with challenges that made it difficult for him to get along with people. But he managed to turn those struggles into art, working with comic artists to create biographical graphic novels that were filled with tragicomic takes on life’s difficulties, from standing in line at the grocery store behind someone who is taking forever to coping with cancer. The same unfiltered quality that made him unable to manage social pleasantries gave his stories a candor and directness that turned his daily life into poetry and his bleakest moments into inspiration for his readers.