cover image Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland

Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland

Harvey Pekar and Joseph Remnant. Top Shelf/Zip, $21.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-60309-091-9

The late Pekar celebrates, to the extent the obligatorily morose underground cartoonist was capable of celebrating anything, his hometown of Cleveland and the life he spent there. After a pocket history of that once great city, Pekar focuses on the period he lived through, a period that sadly came to an end in July 2010 with his death. Rambling but often insightful, and unafraid to show himself in an extremely uncomplimentary light, Pekar illustrates 70 years of recent history as seen through the eyes of one gloomy but talented pessimist. Despite his personal proclivities, Pekar occasionally comes close to visible enthusiasm for a city he clearly loved, warts and all, for his entire life; there is even the faintest hint of optimism that “the mistake by the lake” might someday regain its lost glory. Pekar’s insights are more than matched by Remnant’s art—although akin to the crosshatched realism of one of Pekar’s most acclaimed collaborators, R. Crumb, Remnant brings this very personal history to vibrant life with his own flair for the charm of the ordinary. With an introduction by Alan Moore and a short essay by Jimi Izrael, Cleveland will stand as a must-have volume in Pekar’s body of work. (Apr.)