We’ve seen Kickstarter used to help people with art projects, film, comic collaborations and, perhaps most memorably, to build the city of Detroit a statue of Robocop. But I’ve seen few causes as worthy as this one: help build a Harvey Pekar memorial in the Cleveland Heights Public Library. Harvey is rightfully considered one of the greats when it comes to comics – if you haven’t read any American Splendor, you really should – and this project looks like a fantastic way to memorialize him in the city he loved: not with a massive statue of the man, but of a memorial to the art form he so influenced in a location he loved.
As always, donations can get you some pretty sweet prizes, everything from your name on an online thank you list for the memorial to complete sets of Harvey’s comics work, calls or coffee dates from Harvey’s friends, family, collaborators (who include folks like R. Crumb, Alison Bechdel, Gilbert Hernandez and Alan Moore – though I hasten to add, there’s no mention as to who, specifically, you’d be talking to) and the stars of the 2003 American Splendor film adaptation.
But even if there weren’t any gifts offered to those who pledge money, it’d still be worth your while. As a longtime Clevelander currently trapped in Atlanta, I know I’d love to come home one day and be able to celebrate comics culture in the city that raised such immensely talented creators as Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster (Action Comics), Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man), Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man), Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) and, of course, Harvey Pekar (American Splendor). Help support comics culture, and Pekar’s legacy in Cleveland.