NYT: The Pekar Legacy

A terrific piece on Harvey Pekar, focusing mostly on the author’s legacy and his future in print, graced the cover of today’s Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times…

Known for the irascible, self-doubting persona he cultivated in American Splendor and his day-to-day existence, the frizzy-haired, wild-eyed Mr. Pekar, a writer whose comics were illustrated by other artists, was an improbable candidate for lasting glory. A major influence in the underground world but never a big seller, he was always waiting for his cult fame to recede each time it unexpectedly crested.

His obsessive drive combined with the sheer number of his collaborations produced a two-dimensional record of his shaggy life, rendered in varying styles by numerous illustrators. Now only his widow and the artists he worked with are left to narrate his final chapter, a tale of bruised feelings and allegations of opportunism, with nothing more at stake than the writer’s modest legacy. But no matter how it plays out, Mr. Pekar is bound to emerge as enigmatic as ever.

“Put it this way,” [Pekar coolaborator Dean Haspiel] added. “Nobody owns Harvey Pekar. Not even Harvey Pekar.”

The full article’s pretty fascinating and can be read in full here.

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