The late Harvey Pekar on his home state

The World

The news today that comic author Harvey Pekar had passed away this morning had a particular resonance here at The Takeaway. Before we were even a proper show, John Hockenberry interviewed the Cleveland native for an early special we did about the 2008 election and Ohio. The man memorialized by Paul Giamatti in “American Splendor” was predictably dour about our plan to use his home state as a bellwether for the nation: He told us, “Most people in Ohio are just like they are in the rest of the country ? average.”

Here is the audio of John’s interview with Harvey back in December 2007. And here’s the comic strip he authored about the experience (in which I’m honored to have a cameo role!).

As you’ll hear in the audio, like most of Pekar’s work, it quickly becomes meta. The interview ends up being about the strip that he was writing, which was about the interview! It was a strange and memorable experience from a uniquely talented character.

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