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Harvey Pekar Celebrated With Statue At Cleveland Library

Two years after his death, American Splendor creator Harvey Pekar will be recognized with a bronze statue created in honor of his life and work on display at a library he frequented in his beloved Cleveland.The statue is the creation of Justin Coulter, funded by a Kickstarter set up by Pekar’s widow, Joyce Brabner. Brabner was initially wary of the idea of memorializing Pekar in bronze — She described herself as “very uncomfortable with the idea of Harvey-as-monument” — but came around to the idea of using the memorial as a way to promote comics as a literary art form, and something that could be installed at the Cleveland Heights Public Library. “That library was Harvey’s first love and second home,” Brabner explained.

The statue will be officially unveiled during an event called “Harvey Pekar: A Literary, Library Life” on October 14, which includes a presentation by artist JT Waldman, who worked with Pekar on his posthumously-released book Not The Israel My Parents Promised Me. “My Pekar years were full of crazy amounts of joy and sadness, and taught me a lot about the type of person and artist that I am,” Waldman says of his experiences with Pekar. “I was lucky to be in the graces of a comics legend and be given the opportunity to be myself and represent another person through comics.”

The October 14 event is free, and open to the public.

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