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Monday, July 12, 2010

Harvey Pekar, 1939 - 2010

Man, this sucks:
Pekar, 70, was found dead shortly before 1 a.m. today by his wife, Joyce Brabner, in their Cleveland Heights home, said Powell Caesar, spokesman for Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Pekar and his wife, Joyce Brabner, wrote "Our Cancer Year," a book-length comic, after Pekar was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 1990 and underwent a grueling treatment.

Pekar was born Oct. 8, 1939, to Saul and Dora Pekar, who had emigrated from Bialystok, Poland. His father, a Talmudic scholar, owned a small grocery store on Kinsman Avenue, and the family -- who included Harvey's younger brother, Allen, a chemist -- lived above the store.

R. Crumb said Pekar's work examined the minutia of everyday life, material "so staggeringly mundane it verges on the exotic." Pekar himself summed it up as revealing "a series of day-after-day activities that have more influence on a person than any spectacular or traumatic events. It's the 99 percent of life that nobody ever writes about."
Pekar was an incredibly fascinating figure, and someone I've long admired. RIP, Harvey.

(Yeah, I know, not about beer. But Harvey Pekar doesn't die every day.)


1 comment:

  1. Jeremy in SE PDX3:57 PM, July 12, 2010

    Wow, that's a total shit sandwich. Pekar was a genius, a real American original, a national treasure. What a loss.

    Thanks for posting the news, Jeff -- what does it mean that a beer blog is the first place I found out about the death of one of my favorite writers?