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Vertigo to Publish Harvey Pekar’s Next “American Splendor” Project in 2006

by  in Comic News Comment
Vertigo to Publish Harvey Pekar’s Next “American Splendor” Project in 2006

Official Press Release

Writer Harvey Pekar is returning to AMERICAN SPLENDOR, his autobiographical slice-of-life comic book series, with a new AMERICAN SPLENDOR mini-series from Vertigo, DC Comics’ For Mature Readers imprint. For the new mini-series, Pekar will work with several artists, including Dean Haspiel, who collaborated with Pekar on the critically acclaimed graphic novel THE QUITTER.

About the author: Cleveland, Ohio native Harvey Pekar is best known for his autobiographical slice-of-life comic book series American Splendor, a first-person account of Pekar’s downtrodden life. American Splendor is illustrated by high-profile artists such as Robert Crumb, Frank Stack and Joe Sacco. The series has been published on an approximately annual basis since 1976. In 1987, Pekar was honored with the American Book Award for the series.

Pekar’s most recent release, the graphic novel THE QUITTER, was published by Vertigo earlier this year to great acclaim in the comic book industry and the mainstream press, including reviews in Rolling Stone, People Magazine, the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly and New York Post. Dramatically illustrated by acclaimed New York City-based artist Dean Haspiel, THE QUITTER explores how Pekar’s adolescent fears of not succeeding led him to become a skilled athlete, a schoolyard bully and, finally, the lovable, cranky artist that we know today.

Pekar began his writing career as a prolific music and book critic. His reviews have been published in the Boston Herald, the Austin Chronicle, Jazz Times, Urban Dialect (a paper native to Cleveland), and Down Beat Magazine, among many other journals. Pekar also collaborated with his wife, Joyce Brabner, on a book-length autobiographical comic Our Cancer Year (Four Walls Eight Windows).

Pekar has made two cameo appearances in films and appeared on Late Night with David Letterman eight times between 1986 and 1988. It was Pekar’s interest in politics, and specifically NBC’s affiliation with General Electric, that got him banned from the show. Eventually he was asked to return and Pekar made two more appearances in the early 1990s.

Despite keeping himself extremely busy with all of his contributions to various media, Pekar maintains a very low profile in Cleveland. In 2001, he retired from his job as a full-time file clerk at the local VA Hospital, where he had worked since 1966. He lives with his wife Joyce and they are the proud guardians of 15-year-old girl, Danielle.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Dean Haspiel is the author of super-psychedelic romances and semi-autobiographical comics. He was nominated for a 2002 Eisner award for “Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition,” and a 2003 Ignatz award for “Outstanding Artist.”

In the mid-80s, Dean worked as an assistant to Howard Chaykin on American Flagg!, Bill Sienkiewicz on New Mutants and Elektra: Assassin, and Walter Simonson on Thor. In 1987, Dean inaugurated his own comix career when he co-created The Verdict. Dean’s work has graced the pages of various premiere anthologies, including DC Comics’ BIZARRO COMICS, Alternative Comics’ 9-11: Emergency Relief, and Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor. For DC Comics, Dean has drawn BATMAN ADVENTURES #9, and JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES #32.

More recently, Dean drew scenes for Red Mountain Films’ JAIL BAIT, a new Bizarro story written by Harvey Pekar for DC’s BIZARRO WORLD, a Luna Moth tale for Michael Chabon’s Dark Horse comics anthology, and recently completed drawing a story written by Brian Wood for Vampirella #8.

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