Comic Book Writer Harvey Pekar Dies

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

Harvey Pekar, the acclaimed comic book writer, has died at the age of 70, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Pekar was the author of "American Splendor," an autobiographical comic book series that chronicled his life as a lonely, anxious file clerk. The series became a successful, award-winning movie in 2003 starring Paul Giamatti as the quirky artist.

Pekar was found dead shortly before 1 a.m. on July 12 in his home in Cleveland, Ohio. His wife, writer Joyce Brabner, discovered his body. No official cause of death has yet been determined, although Pekar had been suffering from prostate cancer.

This wasn't Pekar's first bout with cancer. Brabner and Pekar collaborated on "Our Cancer Year," a graphic novel focusing on Pekar's bout with lymphoma in 1994.

Pekar is well known for his darkly humorous tone and love for his hometown. Fellow comic book artist R. Crumb, a friend and mentor of Pekar's, described him in 1994 as "the soul of Cleveland. He's passionate and articulate. He's grim. He's Jewish. I appreciate the way he embraces all that darkness."

Pekar is survived by Brabner and their foster daughter, Danielle.