Famed underground comic scribe Harvey Pekar dead at 70S

Indie comics king Harvey Pekar died today in his Cleveland home. Pekar was famous for his long-running autobiographical series American Splendor, in which he critiqued the doldrums of life. In 2003, American Splendor became an acclaimed film starring Paul Giamatti.

Pekar wrote American Splendor and relied on a cadre of illustrators to take over art chores. The artists ranged from Robert Crumb (who was portrayed by James "Dr. Venture" Urbaniak in the film) to Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets) to Richard Corben (Heavy Metal). Pekar's suffered from a variety of ailments — including prostate cancer and depression — but police are unsure of his cause of death.

Here's a 1988 clip of one of Pekar's several memorable appearances on David Letterman:

[Washington Post. Cover art by Philip Bond.]