Sunday, August 8, 2010

Original Art Sundays #53: A Dialogue with Harvey Pekar

Well, I shot myself in the foot by not properly saving the scan of the work I was planning on posting today.
However, as I was contemplating Hara Kari, I realized that from these setbacks we glean giant strides forward (to quote the great 80s film Real Genius).
A few week ago, Harvey Pekar died. I was lucky enough to chat with him once, and while I'm sure he would never recall me, my memories of him are vivid and positive.
This happened the same day my most recent relationship ended quite abruptly and unexpectedly. She spontaneously decided (in the middle of a month) that she had to live in another state, a thousand miles away, in three days. To say I was hurt and angry is like calling the Chicago Fire a weenie roast.
It didn't end well. Does it ever, really?
Her reasons are her own. Suffice to say I didn't agree and I've had more harmonious partings, though I hope that time heals that as well.
Shaken by Harvey's death and the unexpected turn in my personal life, I spent part of the following day re-reading my (ahem) complete collection of American Splendor.
I found this story. Not my favorite Harvey story (that's An Everyday Horror Story, from issue #5), but quite on point.
I chose to make a short video of it. For a soundtrack, I used R. Crumb's Cheap Suit Serenaders, as he and Harvey were friends and worked together often.
Timing and pacing this was an interesting experience. I wanted the text to be on-screen long enough to be legible, but not so long as to be tedious. Also, a series of static images can be less than exciting, so I used bits of motion and some image repetitions to shake it up just a bit.
I'm content with the result.
Full screen viewing recommended for reading ease!