Harvey Pekar is the ideal embodiment of life in Cleveland. A working-class Joe with a worldview that attains the impossible by being optimistic and pessimistic nearly simultaneously, Harvey displays hidden depths of insight and talent much like the city he calls home. Since 1999, Harvey has shared his reflections on life in the 21st century as a WKSU commentator, earning him kudos regionally and nationally.
In the mid-1960s, Harvey met cartoonist Robert Crumb while looking for jazz records at a swap meet. Crumbs work inspired Harvey to develop illustrated stories about everyday life aimed at an adult audience. He launched the comic book series American Splendor in 1976, winning fans with pithy autobiographical stories and commentaries illustrated by a host of well-known alternative comic book artists, including Crumb, Jim Woodring, Joe Sacco, and Gary Dumm.
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcinis ode to the irascible Harvey Pekar was born of a unique vision. American Splendor takes a fictionalized bio-pic starring Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis and mixes in comments from the real Harvey and wife Joyce and animated segments to form an innovative record of modern life in America. To celebrate the launch of the film, WKSUs Mark Urycki interviews those closest to the movie: the filmmakers, actors and Harvey himself.Listen in Realplayer format Listen in Windows Media format