By Jeff Newelt
To celebrate the launch of Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND (which I edited), the KoPoint Comic Book Show dedicated its 4th episode to Pekar as well as non-fiction comics in general, with special guest Dean Haspiel (who illustrated Pekar’s The Quitter + multiple American Splendor stories.) I’m one of three regular hosts, the other two being former ABC Radio interviewer Dan Patterson (who founded KoPoint podcast network/studio) and interactive developer + Lego-builder Jon Lazar.
Dean and I waxed American Splendorical, trading memories of our beloved pal Harvey Pekar. Dean got into some meaty stuff like how his own non-autobiographical Billy Dogma comics are just as, if not more, personal than his straight up memoir work like Street Code. I revealed the secret sordid story behind “Legendary Vienna” on The Pekar Project, drawn by Cleveland artist Joseph Remnant, in which I cross over in the the Pekarverse and am a character. Also, I mention an unpublished Pekar moment, debuting here, drawn by Rick Parker, also a Pekar Project artist. Parker overheard Pekar when he complimented me on “smoothing” over a sticky situation, when we were all in Cleveland for Pekar’s 70th birthday celebration.
–Jeff Newelt aka JahFurry