Remembering Harvey Pekar

Comic Book Resources has a good post on the NY Comic Con event on American Splendor's creator Harvey Pekar. Harvey has been an inspiration for so many people, myself included. Dean Haspiel shared a litte bit more on how our movie came together, and how he introduced me to Harvey.

"I was working as an assistant to [producer] Ted Hope," Haspiel said. "One of my jobs was to pay bills and file things. I came across an 'American Splendor' film script. Rob Schneider was slated to play Pekar, but that didn't happen. I also came across a Chester Brown screenplay. I discovered a bunch of comics and that [Hope] was a fan. I had done two or three one-page stories with Harvey and I felt like I could ask Ted Hope if he was interested in an 'American Splendor' movie. He said 'Sure!' I called up Harvey, and he didn't know who this guy was and what his movies were. He said, 'Sure, have him call me.' A year and a half later was this amazing, Sundance Award-winning movie."

Give the whole post a read.

The Path To American Splendor

Dean Haspiel had Harvey Pekar's wife Joyce Brabner call me. Having long wanted to make a film of Harvey and American Splendor, I optioned the material on the phone. It wasn't so easy for Dean who struggled to get Harvey to let him work for him, and then got in a fight with Harvey when he finally called. Classic Harvey. Check out the video here.

Where The Paths May Lead You

I watched graphic artist & writer Dean Haspiel on the Artist To Artist series that BRIC has this morning.   In a lot of ways Dean is responsible for my making American Splendor.  Back before he was the recognized great artist he is today, he was our receptionist on The Ice Storm.  As we both shared a love for underground comics, it was only a matter of time that Harvey Pekar came up.  The years went by and Dean did some drawing for Harvey and told him and Joyce of my dream of making an American Splendor movie.  One night, late as it was, my phone rang.  Joyce was on the other end and my journey began.

Dean's just done me another pleasure, by introducing me to the work of photographer Seth Kushner, the other artist on the Artist To Artist show, and the man behind this great portrait of Harvey, shot just last week.

Seth has done a lot of great portraits and whole bunch of the indie film scene.  You should check them all out but here's a nice taste to get you started.

You check out Seth's book The Brooklynites here.  He's working now on a book of photos of NYC Graphic Novel scene, Graphic NYC (and hence his connection with Dean).