Comic Creator Harvey Pekar Has Died

Harvey Pekar, creator of the independent underground/cult autobiographical comic book series American Splendor, has died at 70-years old. He was discovered dead in his Ohio home by his wife. Pekar had been suffering from prostate cancer, although no immediate cause of death has been determined at this time.

Pekar’s comic book/life was made into a 2003 film American Splendor starring Paul Giamatti, which was nominated for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Pekar is also famous for a handful of guest spots on Late Night with David Letterman in the late 1980′s. His confrontational style and on-air criticism of General Electric (which owned television network NBC) led to him being banned from the show. Watch some of his Letterman appearances after the jump.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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