Harvey Pekar: A new tribute one year after his death

July 12, 2011 | 6:48 a.m.

The late, great (and grating) Harvey Pekar died one year ago Tuesday and left behind a singular legacy in the world of comics. Anxious, grouchy, obsessive and frequently paranoid, Pekar was a fascinating figure who loved music more than people and, fittingly, introduced a new jazz rhythm to comics with the wry, misanthropic memoir “American Splendor.”

Above you’ll find an exclusive five-page excerpt from a new tribute to Pekar that will be going live Tuesday at Act-i-Vate, one of the liveliest corners of the online comics world and a place worthy of your bookmark. The tribute is a 25-page fumetti and features quote from Pekar himself and contributions from Seth Kushner, Josh Neufeld, Dean Haspiel, Jeff Newelt, Ted Hope and Joseph Remnant; Joyce Brabner, Pekar’s widow; and Shari Springer-Berman and Robert Pulcini, the directors of the terrific “American Splendor” film from 2003.

Beyond the tribute, you can read more at the Pekar Project and get a sense of his collaborators and influence at Harvey Heads. To hear his voice (and what a voice it was) check out the NPR archive of Pekar radio interviews, but most important of all, go out and get your hands on some (or all) of the great “American Splendor” anthologies on actual old-fashioned paper.

– Geoff Boucher

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