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Comics

Harvey Pekar and Cleveland merge in unique comic

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J. Caleb Mozzocco

The Details

Harvey Pekar's Cleveland
Three and a half stars
By Harvey Pekar and Joseph Remnant, $22

The posthumously published Cleveland combines a sort of oral history of the city with another, broader-than-usual autobiography of the late Harvey Pekar, with the two narrative strands threading together quite seamlessly as they’re teased out across the panels.

Cleveland is an aging, rather rundown city whose best days are seemingly behind it, a city that’s weathered what it would like to think were its worst days and is now carrying on, day by day, hoping for a future that’s at least a little better than its present. Just as Pekar was when he finished writing this script shortly before his death; just as so many other American cities and so many other American people are right now.

Featuring incredibly detailed, richly textured, grittily cross-hatched black and white art by Joseph Remnant, it’s a work that has already outlived one of its authors, which points to one important difference between Pekar and his city—Cleveland’s still here, and not going anywhere anytime soon. Of course, looked at another way, neither is Harvey Pekar, thanks in large part to great and unique work like this.

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