Tagged: Harvey Pekar

Life After reading this will be better


There’s really only one book that I care about this week. Maybe not the only one I care about, but the only book I really want to talk about. (Mostly because it’s hot and I spent all weekend killing spiders and blowing up pies with fireworks). Alright, you could say I got lazy, but I’ll never be to lazy to sing the eternally lauded praises of

Life After #1 By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Gabo-It’s a grand premise centered around some matrix-esque themes of being the only one truly awake in the infinite loop of life. But instead of that loop taking place in a computer generated existence, our protagonist finds himself journeying through the clutches of heaven, hell, and every other layer taught to you by your catechism teacher. The high concept of life, death, struggle against the mundane, and you know, saving the world, is back dropped with a snarky Hemmingway as a guide, and first-season-of-Lost questions that get you jacked up to read every issue because you need to know what’s happening! why is this happening?! I’m so curious and excited to find out what’s happening! The expert hands of Fialkov (Bunker, The Ultimates) and somewhat new to the scene, but no less brilliant hands of Gabo, give holy life to a book that is high energy goofy, juxtaposed with serious moments of salvation.  And covers are drawn by Nick Pitarra! (Manhattan Projects) This is a must must must buy! I guess I’ll talk about some other books, lightning round style!

Spread #1-Cthulu monsters, meets zombie reincarnation, meets Lone Wolf and Cub.

Shutter #4-More monsters! Some friend, some foe. But Kate stands her ground!

Grayson #1-I don’t know the last time I mentioned a DC book on this thing, but Tim Seeley (Revival) is writing this back from the dead character in an unexpected way.

Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me TP-This is the final memoir of the esteemed curmudgeon, Harvey Pekar, and a timely one at that. Illustrated by J.T. Waldman, Pekar reflects on growing up in a pro-Israel household, and his gradual realization that the current state has come a long way from the biblical ideal he grew up with. Considering the current resurgence of major conflict in the region, Pekar’s interweaving tale of history and dissatisfaction couldn’t come at a better time for those looking to get a little bit of a history lesson.

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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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Congratulations to Dean Haspiel

The Daily Planet would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Dean Haspiel, cartoonist extraordinaire and overall swell fella, on his Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Main Title Design for his work on Bored to Death, airing on HBO.

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Dean-o, listed as illustrator/artist of the sequence, shares the nomination with its director Tom Barham, lead animator Marci Ichimura, and compositor Mark Rubbo under Dakota Pictures, 3 Arts Entertainment /Fair Harbor Productions.  You can see a full listing of  the work they’re up against on The Emmys’ official site.

If you’re interested in Dean’s comic work, I highly recommend The Alcoholic (a graphic novel collaboration with B2D‘s writer/creator Jonathan Ames), and The Quitter (written by Harvey Pekar of American Splendor fame).

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Ladygunn Magazine: Blind Date with Jeffy

Ladygunn Magazine invited me to go on a blind date as part of their comics issue…

blinddate5Everyone gets ‘the call’ at least once in a lifetime. You know, the one where your best friend is like, “you have to go on a blind date with this dude, and I have to live vicariously through you because I have a boyfriend  and who wouldn’t want to date a comic book store manager?”

That’s exactly what I did to our Art Director Allison Pauline when I set up her up with Jeff, manager of the famous ‘Forbidden Planet’ comic book store in Union Square.

Jeff is over an hour late on a rainy Sunday, to meet Allison at Brooklyn’s ‘Sweet Revenge’, a bar . Black-leather-clad, she sits waiting patiently. Every so often, she’ll look over at the door suspiciously, while I smile demurely and shrug my shoulders (I’m only there to document the event).

When he finally does arrive, he turns up also sporting a carcass, black leather too. Jeff is cuter than expected. They meet, they greet, they blinddate!

Click here to see how it went down.

Also be sure to eplore the rest of Ladygunn’s site while you’re at it.  The rest of the comic issue features Harvey Pekar, Alison Bechdel, and Joe Matt.  Pretty terrific company.

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Smith’s Pekar Project keeps on trucking along.

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Besides Deadpool, I think my other comic obsession would have to be all things Harvey Pekar.  The fact that Smith Magazine has been doing a serialized Harvey Pekar web comic project for the past couple of weeks has been a wonderful thing to look forward to, but the Cleveland native came here to New York City.

Speaking at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Studies in February, Mr. Pekar was interviewed by Josh McCutchen (see above).

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SMITH Magazine announces THE PEKAR PROJECT.

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Jeff “Jahfurry” Newelt announced today that SMITH Magazine will be doing online, every-other-week Harvey Pekar comics, titled The Pekar Project.  I never thought I’d see the day that Pekar would even know how to access the Internet, but it looks like today is that day. From the announcement, courtesy of the good Sir Mr. Newelt:

We’re starting the series off with a single story illustrated by newcomer Tara Seibel. Tara is a new also-Cleveland-based collaborator of Harvey’s; she has a totally unique avant-garde design/color driven style that Harvey is having a ball writing stories for. This first one is an illustrated phone call between Harvey and his pal / collaborator underground comix legend  Robert Crumb! –Lots of imagery to play with there, so Tara goes to town. To get the site rolling we started off with the classic Pekar/Crumb teamup with a new twist (drawn by Tara) and the next installment will be four short stories, one illustrated by each of the four Pekar Project artists.

The Pekar Project is new comics every other week, and on the “non-comics” weeks we’re going to have heavy-duty blog features, like new interviews with Harvey, unseen behind-the-scenes art from Harvey’s collaborators, essays by Harvey himself, interviews with the artists, profiles / exclusive excerpts of upcoming Pekar books, etc.

Newelt goes on to mention that the  American Splendor creator will actually be on TWITTER. I think Hell has officially frozen over, because that is LITERALLY something I thought I’d never see happen.

The first webcomic hit the intertubes this morning. Drawn by Cleveland local Tara Seibel, this story chronicles Harvey and longtime Splendor collaborator Robert Crumb  talking art in general.  According to the comic, Harvey was contracted to write the Libretto for “Leave Me Alone!” the jazz opera by Dan Plonsey, and he didn’t know the first thing about it, so he talked to Crumb. The conversation between the two was recorded and played during the opera, and reproduced for us by Smith.

I have to say that my Pekar addiction can be fulfilled on a regular basis is just a fantastic way to start off the week.

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