Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 5, 2011.

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Harvey steps off an AMERICAN SPLENDOR page & onto a public library desk to celebrate making words and pictures... COMICS!

The whole story is every bit as verbose as one of Harvey's text heavy comic panels or lunch with Joyce. If you're impatient, skip over the videos we've embedded. If you're really, really impatient-- as Harvey so often was-- let's start with the quick pitch:

A way to celebrate comics as art and literature at a Cleveland Heights public library. A literary landmark, a desk that's always filled with paper and pencils for people to sit and write or draw comics at the same place where Harvey Pekar liked to work.

Mounted on the desk, a sculpted bronze comic book “page.” Stepping out from a panel, Harvey-- using his semi celebrity to focus on the creative possibilities of the art form he opened up to so many people. On the reverse, gridded into bronze ruled "panels," a giant slate storyboard that looks very much the way Harvey always started his own scripts.  (He wrote and drew stick figures, just like Paul Giamatti in that movie.) Plenty of chalk and plenty of encouragement from a library that cherishes comics. At different times each year, a librarian can unlock the middle drawer of the desk and pull out copies of books that Harvey read as a kid that inspired him to write, AMERICAN SPLENDOR scripts, memorabilia and anything else that could inspire library patrons to be creative with comics.

The desk and statue will be mounted next to the library's “Harvey & Friends Used Bookstore"* and facing the library's ever growing comics shelves. Every so often a Kickstarter campaign runs over. If that happens, once all the bills are paid, the Estate of Harvey Pekar will use the rest of the money to add to the library's no-white-gloves, read and enjoy(!) collection. 

* Named after Harvey. The library knew and loved him.

For those who like details and good gossip, a longer explanation

When Harvey died in July, 2010 there was some silly buzz about raising a statue of “Our Man, the autobio comics and indie film legend.” This made Harvey's wife and collaborator Joyce Brabner terribly uncomfortable. Not only was she hustling to cover cemetery expenses, local fans had been unable to erect a statue of that other Cleveland comic book hero, Superman.

 Sculptor Justin Coulter was tending bar that night. The bronze casting foundry he had worked at for 7 years had closed and like Harvey, Justin works several gigs so as to also make art. He began making little clay models (maquettes) of a possible sculpture.

This was not making Joyce's life any easier. She called it the “celebrity vs. celebration” dilemma. She was very uncomfortable with the idea of Harvey-as-monument, but she realized she lived in a city that had giant stone statues of the Greco-Roman gods of literature, commerce, industry and transportation.

So, why not use Harvey's para-celebrity to promote Comics as Art & Literature?

Justin redesigned the models, now turning into a memorial that would encourage anyone and everyone to think about writing or drawing stories about themselves, about whatever they could imagine. He and Joyce decided on a large bronze comic book page with captions that proclaimed, as Harvey said, “Comics are words and pictures. You can make anything you want with words and pictures.” “Anybody's life story is potentially the source of a great novel, comic book or movie.” And in very small letters, directly under Harvey, in Yiddish, what he really would have said, “Oy! What do you want from my life anyway?”

Thinking comics, Joyce realized this left them with a reverse “page” on the back of the memorial. She decided to turn it into a giant slate storyboard, upon which people could draw their own comics. That's what killed the idea of placing the memorial on Harvey's as yet unmarked grave. It would not be polite to the other guests of the cemetery. And of all this came the much better idea to redesign the memorial and install it at the Cleveland Heights Public Library-- a very comics friendly place, indeed-- where, because a giant block of granite or marble was no longer required, costs could be cut in half by mounting everything on a reinforced wooden desk.

This video explains it all and shows off the kind of support the library offers the Comics as Art & Literature statue project. Unlike the infamous Kickstarter Detroit Robocop statue, we've made sure this would be a welcome, wanted by (most) of the suits, piece of public art. So, if you have time to watch anything, watch this one.  (Nancy Levin gets comics.)

Harvey's connection to the library and librarians he loved is described in this last video, as well. But, if you really did read all the way to the bottom of this, it can be assumed that you're a literate and flexible thinker, someone who also loves his or her own library. No one's talking about erecting Comics as Art & Literature desks in other libraries yet. It could happen... Joyce would agree.  But the truth is, the Estate of Harvey Pekar is pretty much just Joyce with the help of some friends. She can not afford to bankroll this project herself and things would have been so much easier for her if she could have simply sprinkled Harvey's ashes in the backyard.

If, after all the bills have been paid, there's any money left over, that cash goes to buy still more graphic novels for the library. 

A tremendous amount of goodwill has gone into the design of this project. It's not an ego driven memorial to a dead husband. It's intended only as an offer to use someone's good name and memory to celebrate comics as art and literature and encourage people to make comics. “Comics are words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures.”

Exactly when can we expect a statue and our rewards?

Some of the rewards offered can not be delivered until the statue is erected, so we're shooting for what would have been Harvey's October 8, 2012 birthday.  We will send what we can as soon as we can, hoping to get the Winter Holiday 2011 rewards out in time for whatever you celebrate.  And not all the rewards are up yet.  Some other folk, including those famous and infamous, have promised things we'll post later.

Kickstarter says this project is already 100% funded.  Do you really need more money?

Well... yes.  Joyce low balled project costs, expecting to be able to make up the difference.  But there are some tax problems, etc.  Here's the latest:  

FAQ

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    82 backers

    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial web page

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    I don't want a reward, although a thank you would be nice. I just want to help.

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    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed or e-mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled

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    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled in an envelope. A strip of Harvey Pekar head stickers, each head drawn by a different artist. If you are outside the USA please add $5 s/h

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    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled in an envelope. A strip of Harvey Pekar head stickers, each head drawn by a different artist. A Harvey Heads poster with ALL the heads drawn by over 90 artists from The Pekar Project. If you are outside the USA, please add $10 s/h.

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    53 backers

    WINTER HOLIDAY 2011 SPECIAL!!! Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled in an envelope. A 2011 Winter holiday card followed by a gift of a book AND some music from Harvey's personal collection selected for you with best wishes by Harvey's widow Joyce and their Danielle, who will do the best they can to get your package to you by the end of the year. If you are outside the USA, please add $10 s/h.

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    A CUP OF TEA AND A LONG WINTER'S CHAT WITH COMICS GIANT ALAN MOORE-- (Hear Alan explain this all in our just posted video: http://vimeo.com/32176575 YES! You may post this anywhere you want.)-- Alan is helping raise money for the Harvey Pekar Library Statue: Comics as Art & Literature Desk on Kickstarter.com In exchange for your $99 pledge, he's offering a several hour-- by invitation only-- video conference from his home in the UK. Viewers may ask impertinent questions. To keep this affordable, split the costs with your friend and plan to gather round your computer.

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    78 backers

    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled in an envelope. A strip of Harvey Pekar head stickers, each head drawn by a different artist. A Harvey Heads poster with ALL the heads drawn by over 90 artists from The Pekar Project. A signed copy of Harvey Pekar's penultimate master work, published by Zip Comics: "Harvey Pekar's Cleveland." If you are outside the USA, please add $10 s/h.

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    29 backers Limited (1 left of 30)

    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled in an envelope. A strip of Harvey Pekar head stickers, each head drawn by a different artist. A Harvey Heads poster with ALL the heads drawn by over 90 artists from The Pekar Project. And, as seen in the AMERICAN SPLENDOR movie, an authentic Harvey Pekar doll. If you are outside the USA, please add $20 s/h.

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    6 backers

    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled. A strip of Harvey Pekar head stickers, each head drawn by a different artist. A Harvey Heads poster with ALL the heads drawn by over 90 artists from The Pekar Project. 5 different 8.5 by 11 pin up color prints of amazing Harvey heads, each again chosen at random for you-- because ALL of the artists were equally terrific. A signed copy of Harvey Pekar's penultimate master work, published by Zip Comics: “Harvey Pekar's Cleveland.” A VIP invitation to a Harvey Pekar's Cleveland Walking tour, including storytelling lunch with some of Harvey's people. Five tours are planned so far, with dates and times to be determined. If you are outside the USA, please add $10 s/h.

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    1 backer

    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed or e-mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled. A strip of Harvey Pekar head stickers, each head drawn by a different artist. A Harvey Heads poster with ALL the heads drawn by over 90 artists from The Pekar Project. A signed copy of Harvey Pekar's penultimate master work, published by Zip Comics: “Harvey Pekar's Cleveland.” A Harvey Pekar Controversy Pack: 1 copy of Harvey's posthumously published book “Yiddishkeit” (Abrams Books) AND 1 copy of his soon to be published “Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me” (FSG) and the Joyce Brabner Controversy Pack. (Harvey's wife did a number of political comics that were banned, ended up in Federal Court houses, bought up and “recycled” by well meaning liberals... but some fell off the truck.) ALSO: An authorized reprinted chapter about much of this from Bissette and Wiater's “Comic Book Rebels” AND your chance to voice feedback to any book on a special phone line. So long as you're moderately civil, your call WILL be returned by Joyce, a Harvey friend or collaborator. If you are outside the USA, please add $ 25 to cover s/h and internat'l phone charges.

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    1 backer

    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled in an envelope with a strip of Harvey Pekar head stickers, each head drawn by a different artist. A Harvey Heads poster with ALL the heads drawn by over 90 artists from The Pekar Project. A signed copy of Harvey Pekar's penultimate master work, published by Zip Comics: “Harvey Pekar's Cleveland” A Harvey Pekar Controversy Pack: 1 copy of Harvey's posthumously published book “Yiddishkeit” (Abrams Books) AND 1 copy of “Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me” (FSG) and the Joyce Brabner Controversy Pack: (Harvey's wife did a number of political comics that were banned, ended up in Federal Court houses-- even bought up and “recycled” by well meaning liberals... but some fell off the truck.) ALSO: An authorized reprinted chapter about much of this from Bissette and Wiater's “Comic Book Rebels” AND your chance to voice feedback to any book on a special phone line. So long as you're moderately civil, your call WILL be returned by Joyce, a Harvey friend or collaborator. PLUS a complete-- or near complete-- set of Harvey's self published and other floppy comics. A number have been set aside for this campaign. If certain numbers run out, expect something else of equal value (we think) to be submitted in its place. If you are outside the USA, please add $ 25 to cover s/h and internat'l phone charges.

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  • Pledge $1,500 or more
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    1 backer

    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled in an envelope with a strip of Harvey Pekar head stickers, each head drawn by a different artist. A Harvey Heads poster with ALL the heads drawn by over 90 artists from The Pekar Project. A signed copy of Harvey Pekar's penultimate master work, published by Zip Comics: “Harvey Pekar's Cleveland” A Harvey Pekar Controversy Pack: 1 copy of Harvey's posthumously published book “Yiddishkeit” (Abrams Books) AND 1 copy of “Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me” (FSG) and the Joyce Brabner Controversy Pack: (Harvey's wife did a number of political comics that were banned, ended up in Federal Court houses-- even bought up and “recycled” by well meaning liberals... but some fell off the truck.) ALSO: An authorized reprinted chapter about much of this from Bissette and Wiater's “Comic Book Rebels” AND your chance to voice feedback to any book on a special phone line. So long as you're moderately civil, your call WILL be returned by Joyce, a Harvey friend or collaborator. PLUS a complete-- or near complete-- set of Harvey's self published and other floppy comics. A number have been set aside for this campaign. If certain numbers run out, expect something else of equal value (we think) to be submitted in its place. A phone call-- if not a coffee date-- with one of the stars of the film, AMERICAN SPLENDOR, happy to talk to you about working with Harvey or any other question you've burned to ask about making the movie. You have to get yourself to the coffee shop but we buy the coffee or orange pop. (Sorry if you live in Idaho). If you are outside the USA, please add $ 25 to cover s/h and internat'l phone charges.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    All the goodies in the $1,000 bag PLUS a $2,000 "Jakprints Gets Harvey Pekar" card. To figure out what that buys, go to Jakprints.com and see what our creative partners can make for you. They've manufactured most of the rewards we are offering here and do spectacular b/w or color comics, printed on demand, CD or DVD packaging, concert merch, custom apparel, banners. signage, art prints-- everything your favorite organization might need to promote a good cause and all kinds of rewards you can offer when you do your own Kickstarter campaign

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Your name on the list of thank-you's on the Memorial web page. A commemorative postcard snail mailed to you on the day the Harvey Pekar Comics as Art and Literature Memorial is unveiled in an envelope with a strip of Harvey Pekar head stickers, each head drawn by a different artist. A Harvey Heads poster with ALL the heads drawn by over 90 artists from The Pekar Project. A signed copy of Harvey Pekar's penultimate master work, published by Zip Comics: “Harvey Pekar's Cleveland” A Harvey Pekar Controversy Pack: 1 copy of Harvey's posthumously published book “Yiddishkeit” (Abrams Books) AND 1 copy of “Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me” (FSG) and the Joyce Brabner Controversy Pack: (Harvey's wife did a number of political comics that were banned, ended up in Federal Court houses-- even bought up and “recycled” by well meaning liberals... but some fell off the truck.) ALSO: An authorized reprinted chapter about much of this from Bissette and Wiater's “Comic Book Rebels” AND your chance to voice feedback to any book on a special phone line. So long as you're moderately civil, your call WILL be returned by Joyce, a Harvey friend or collaborator. PLUS a complete-- or near complete-- set of Harvey's self published and other floppy comics. A number have been set aside for this campaign. If certain numbers run out, expect something else of equal value (we think) to be submitted in its place. A phone call-- if not a coffee date-- with one of the stars of the film, AMERICAN SPLENDOR, happy to talk to you about working with Harvey or any other question you've burned to ask about making the movie. You have to get yourself to the coffee shop but we buy the coffee or orange pop. (Sorry if you live in Idaho). AND one of two outfits worn by Harvey Pekar (as himself or while portrayed by actor Paul Giamatti) in the Oscar nominated film AMERICAN SPLENDOR. First to pledge gets first pick. Weird? You bet. But some people are into that kind of stuff. If you are outside the USA, don't even think of adding extra $ to cover s/h and internat'l phone charges. We're even.

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