there were all these New York folks banging the drum, saying Harvey needs a statue, he was a working class hero, a literary lion, our man. I thought they were nuts . . . The New York Times asked me whether there'd be a statue of Harvey and I said, are you kidding? . . . This city has never been able to raise enough money to build a statue of Superman, who was created not so very far away from Harvey's old neighborhood.Harvey is buried in Lakeview Cemetery, along with several other colorful figures from Cleveland's past, including John D. Rockefeller and President James A. Garfield. Readers of American Splendor will remember that Joyce debuted in Issue #9 with a visit to the Garfield Monument, the centerpiece of Lakeview Cemetery, a short walk from where Pekar lived at the time.
Harvey was planted next to Eliot Ness, one untouchable beside another.A fundraiser was held to cover burial expenses. There was more talk of raising a statue at the gravesite . . .
[at the fundraiser] I made a crack on-stage about how we could orient the statue so it might look as if Harvey was flipping the bird at John D. Rockefeller.As it happens, sculptor Justin Coulter was tending bar at the event. He'd just lost his job at a bronze casting foundry . . .
In no time after, I was looking at these clay maquettes of Harvey . . .Kickstarter was engaged for funding; eventually over 800 people raised $38,356.
[It's] about celebrating what he did in graphic novels, comic books for grown ups, comic books as literature, comic book auto-biography . . . That's something I could be behind, celebration not celebrity.Yes, bronze Harvey emerges from off the page of comic-book Cleveland, but there's also a slate board with ruled panels on the back -- a blank comic book page in waiting -- and a desk to be kept filled with chalk, paper and pencils.
“Comics are words and pictures. You can make anything you want with words and pictures.”The dedication event is entitled “Harvey Pekar: A Literary, Library Life,” and will feature a presentation by JT Waldman, the illustrator who collaborated with Pekar on his posthumously published graphic novel, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me.
“Anybody's life story is potentially the source of a great novel, comic book or movie.”
“Oy! What do you want from my life anyway?”
I want people who make comics, read comics, and enjoy comics to know that I believe in this art form . . .Links
Harvey believed in comics.
He lived out his life in comics.
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