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Acclaimed Cleveland Author Harvey Pekar Comes to Mount Union

February 22, 2008

pekarharveyMount Union College welcomed Cleveland native and author of the American Splendor comic books, to campus this week.  Harvey Pekar was invited by the Society of Finer Things to speak with students and show the Oscar nominated film American Splendor, named for his comic books.

Pekar first published American Splendor in 1976.  The comics were based on real events from the bus station, his job as a file clerk in the Veterans Hospital in Cleveland or even his relationship with his wife.
   
Later, Pekar and his wife conglomerated on comic books to commemorate the year he suffered with cancer to form an anthology of comic books, sold as one.  They also made one to commemorate the year of making the American Splendor movie.
   
The film was released in 2003 at the Sundance film festival and later nominated for an Oscar and many critic and film festival awards.

“I might be on welfare if it wasn’t for this (movie),” said Pekar. “I signed up for this thing for the money, but I think it’s a real good movie.”

American Splendor the movie was produced by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman and filmed on the west side of Cleveland.  Paul Giamatti stars as Pekar.

Pekar said the movie was “pretty close to my life, but I make it a big thing to make my comics really close to my life.”

Pekar said the movie helped to boost sales of his comic books and he received more publishing offers and other writing opportunities after the movie was released.

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