Death of a hero

I just opened an e-mail from Arieh:
It's with an overwhelming sadness that I share the news of the passing of both Harvey Pekar and Tuli Kupferberg.
May their memory, and their creativity in diverse media, be a blessing to us all, and future generations.
Tuli Kupferberg, for those who don't know, was a member of the Fugs, as well as an all-round important figure in the 1960s counter-culture. Harvey Pekar, however, is one of my true heroes.

I first encounted Pekar and his American Splendour comics in a Los Angeles bookstore, Amok (is it still there?), while visiting Jogo perhaps two decades ago. I remember standing there in the store unable to stop reading them. In particular, I loved this story.

When the film came out a couple of years back, I was very nervous, but the film captured the comics perfectly, and, I thought, really did him justice. I felt I knew him as a friend from the comics; I felt I knew him even better afterwards.

He was 70, and suffering from prostate cancer. His battle with cancer had been one of the themes of his recent work.

I will miss him.

Some appreciations: Daily Cross Hatch; Nick Abadzis; Jesse Hamm; Anthony Bourdain; Jeff Smith.

From the Jewish Review of Books:


kellie said…
On the Drawger group blog, Stephen Kroninger has posts on both Tuli Kupferberg and Harvey Pekar, and Drew Friedman has posted art for Pekar's American Splendor.
bob said…
A couple more tributes added here, and also see Harvey and Tuli by Michael Kazin at Dissent.

I liked this comment from Les:
and, i too, was really saddened by the death of harvey pekar. like you, i discovered his work through a friend back in the early 80s, and i automatically thought that it was some of the best work i had seen in "underground" comics in a decade. actually, he and tuli kupferberg, whose book 1001 ways to beat the draft i read back in 1968, represent a kind of activity associated with some of the best working-class intellectuals/artists that has all but died out here in the states. and i think that's what makes their passing so hard.