VERTIGO TO PUBLISH HARVEY PEKAR’S ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL THE QUITTER In FALL 2005
New York, NY – Harvey Pekar’s next original graphic novel THE QUITTER will be published by Vertigo, the For Mature Readers imprint of DC Comics, in the fall of 2005 it was announced on Sunday by Paul Levitz, the President & Publisher of DC Comics during a New York is Book Country panel discussion on the Future of the Graphic Novel. Pekar is best known for his autobiographical slice-of-life comic book series "American Splendor", a first-person account of Pekar’s downtrodden life, as well as the subsequent film based on the long running series.
THE QUITTER will be written by Pekar and drawn by artist Dean Haspiel; it is Pekar’s first full length project with DC Comics and Vertigo. The story mines tales from Pekar’s childhood and early adolescence. “This is the most complete treatment I’ve ever given to my childhood and early adulthood,” said Pekar. “I was very happy to pull things together and I’m pleased with what I wrote.”
“We’re more than thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Harvey,” said Karen Berger, Vertigo’s VP Executive Editor. “His unique way of looking at the world and his insightful and irreverent writing is a natural fit with VERTIGO, and we’re confident that The Quitter will join the ranks of the special literary work being produced in our field.”
“THE QUITTER is Harvey’s funniest and most heart-wrenching story yet,” said acquiring editor Jonathan Vankin. “Harvey’s long-time fans, as well as readers who’ve never experienced his distinctive approach to comics will find this book as unforgettable as I do.”
About the author: Cleveland, Ohio native Harvey Pekar is best known for his autobiographical slice-of-life comic book series American Splendor, a first-person account of Pekar’s downtrodden life. American Splendor is illustrated by high-profile artists such as Robert Crumb, Frank Stack and Joe Sacco. The series has been published on an approximately annual basis since 1976. In 1987, Pekar was honored with the American Book Award for the series.
Pekar began his writing career as a prolific music and book critic. His reviews have been published in the Boston Herald, the Austin Chronicle, Jazz Times, Urban Dialect (a paper native to Cleveland), and Down Beat Magazine, among many other journals. Pekar also collaborated with his wife, Joyce Brabner, on a book-length autobiographical comic "Our Cancer Year" (Four Walls Eight Windows).
Pekar has made two cameo appearances in films and appeared on "Late Night with David Letterman" eight times between 1986-1988. It was Pekar's interest in politics, and specifically NBC's affiliation with General Electric, that got him banned from the show. Eventually he was asked to return and Pekar made two more appearances in the early 1990s.
Despite keeping himself extremely busy with all of his contributions to various kinds of media, Pekar maintains a very low profile in Cleveland. In 2001, he retired from his job as a full-time file clerk at the local VA Hospital, where he had worked since 1966. He lives with his wife Joyce and they are the proud guardians of 15-year-old girl, Danielle.
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Dean Haspiel is the author of super-psychedelic romances and semi-autobiographical comics. He was nominated for a 2002 Eisner award for "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition," and a 2003 Ignatz award for "Outstanding Artist."
In the mid-80s, Dean worked as an assistant to Howard Chaykin on American Flagg!, Bill Sienkiewicz on New Mutants and Elektra: Assassin, and Walter Simonson on Thor. In 1987, Dean inaugurated his own comix career when he co-created The Verdict. Dean's work has graced the pages of various premiere anthologies, including DC Comics' Bizarro Comics, Alternative Comics' 9-11: Emergency Relief, and Harvey Pekar's American Splendor. For DC Comics, Dean has drawn Batman Adventures #9, and Justice League Adventures# 32.
More recently, Dean drew scenes for Red Mountain Films' JAIL BAIT, a new Bizarro story written by Harvey Pekar for the upcoming Bizarro World, a Luna Moth tale for Michael Chabon's Dark Horse comics anthology #3, and recently completed drawing a story written by Brian Wood for Vampirella #8.