It’s sad, but fitting, that I hear the news through Warren Ellis. His six words fire across my twitter feed like gunshot, instantly stopping every writer, illustrator, reader and thinker I know in their tracks. “Harvey Pekar reported dead. Very sad.”
Thump. It takes a beat. Ellis’ words don’t seem to match up somehow; but the brevity is fitting. After all, Ellis named a book after something Pekar once said; “Comics are just words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures.”
No-one ever tells you where Pekar said that, but everyone tells you that, yep, he did. I don’t mind. Apocryphal or not, Pekar’s words sit at the heart of why people find something more in comics than four colours and lots of ink, why it’s so special a medium for so many. Meanwhile it is his life’s work that’s compelling every comic creator I know to click the link, share the news, wait for their heads to catch up.
It’s strange to understand that, collectively, we’ve kind of lost something of our field’s heart and soul. Continue reading