Harvey Pekar, who chronicled his depressive, obsessive-compulsive life in the comic book series “American Splendor,” died yesterday in Cleveland at age 70. A retired VA hospital file clerk, Pekar began writing strips in 1972, his first being illustrated by underground comic book artist R. Crumb, whom he cited as a strong influence.
Pekar, who also wrote short stories and jazz reviews, was best known for his autobiographical portrait in comics form. He said his work was about the “series of day-after-day activities that have more influence on a person than any spectacular or traumatic events. It’s the 99 percent of life that nobody ever writes about.”