‘American Splendor’ author Harvey Pekar to speak today

By Collegian News Staff

(Courtesy Umass.edu)
(Courtesy wikipedia.org)

Legendary graphic novelist Harvey Pekar will be speaking to students about his life and work today at 5 p.m. in Flavin Auditorium (SOM 137). The 70-year-old Pekar rose to prominence with his pioneering work on the autobiographical comic “American Splendor” in the late 1970s, which broke ground by telling the story of his life as a file clerk living in a working-class neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio with his trademark voice and unique sense of humor. Pekar worked with some of America’s finest underground cartoonists of the era, including Frank Stack and fellow Cleveland native Robert Crumb. He has since moved on to make a mark on many different mediums over the course of his career, including film, the Internet and television.

Pekar co-wrote and appeared in the 2003 film adaptation of “American Splendor,” which won awards at both the Sundance and Cannes film festivals and starred Oscar-winner Paul Giamatti as Pekar. The film used a combination of documentary and narrative techniques, and was widely praised by critics.

Pekar’s appearance on campus is preceded by a series of local events over the past two days, including a Tuesday screening of “American Splendor” at Flavin, and a book signing yesterday evening in Northampton.

– Collegian News Staff