Pekar’s gift for depicting the epic struggles of everyday life was mostly channeled into his comic, “American Splendor” (later a 2004 movie auteured by Paul Giamatti), itself inspired by a friendship with the young R.Crumb. His unsentimental and award-winning prose had the brutal honesty and tender insight of a Joyce or a Steinbeck, had those gentlemen worked at Cleveland’s V.A. hospital or tangled with David Letterman. Unlike many compulsive autobiographers, Harvey himself didn’t flinch from writing about his own less-than admirable side. That’s what it means to be Pekaresquely human: to accept our flaws and brokenness as the price for a wonderful sunset, cold beer, arguing with friends and everything else worthwhile on this side of the grave.
“Zecher tzaddik livracha — the memory of the righteous is a blessing.” We’re gonna miss you, Harvey. Thanks for showing us that it’s the little things that count — and that they’re not so little after all.