American Splendor was based on Pekar’s daily life in Cleveland, Ohio where he worked as a file clerk at Veterans Administration hospital. In 2003 American Splendor was made into a critically acclaimed movie Starring Paul Gimatti. Pekar himself also appeared in the film. In American Splendor: Our Movie Year, Harvey wrote about the effects the film had on his life and career.
In addition to his work on American Splendor, Pekar wrote a number of biographies about everyday people, which was the case in American Splendor: Unsung Hero. Unsung Hero tells the story of Pekar’s co-worker Robert McNeill’s experience in the Vietnam War. When Harvey Pekar wasn’t writing for comics he wrote about his other love, jazz. As a freelance jazz critic, Pekar focused on figures from jazz’s golden age.
Upon finding this out, I felt as if a small piece of me had been taken away. At 16 years old, American Splendor was the first comic book I really got into. Pekar had a way of writing about the people that made others care. Harvey Pekar was an all around talented writer that influenced a generation of comic book writers. Pekar will truly be missed by many in the comic book world.