Harvey Pekar, Comic Author And Jazz Critic, Dies : A Blog Supreme He was best known for his autobiographical series American Splendor depicting everyday life in Cleveland, made into a movie in 2003. But the jazz community also remembers him especially for his fandom and scribing.
NPR logo Harvey Pekar, Comic Author And Jazz Critic, Dies

Harvey Pekar, Comic Author And Jazz Critic, Dies

Harvey Pekar (right) with Paul Giamatti, who portrayed Pekar in the 2003 film adaptation of American Splendor. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images hide caption

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Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Harvey Pekar (right) with Paul Giamatti, who portrayed Pekar in the 2003 film adaptation of American Splendor.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Harvey Pekar, a comic artist best known for his autobiographical series American Splendor depicting everyday life in Cleveland, has died, multiple sources are reporting. He was 70.

He is best known to the general public as the wry figure behind American Splendor, made into a film in 2003. He was also once a regular guest of Late Night With David Letterman.

But he is remembered especially by the jazz community as an avowed fan and freelance critic. As Felix Contreras once pointed out here at A Blog Supreme, jazz sparked his friendship with illustrator and collaborator R. Crumb, and also helped launch a new online comic series called Pekar Project. And as Karen Schaefer also reported for NPR, in 2009 Pekar presented a jazz opera in which he played himself. Leave Me Alone begins with a monologue about why ordinary people should support avant-garde jazz.

UPDATE: The remembrance aired on All Things Considered, and also, thoughts from NPR's Monkey See comics blogger Glen Weldon.

"I'm trying to get every man involved in art, into experimental music or painting or novel writing," he told Schaefer. "It's important to have the support of the masses. I'm trying to get them to think about what it takes."

You can read more of Pekar's jazz writing online in his author archives at JazzTimes, and in his author archives at the Austin Chronicle.