- 1. Trick or treat.
- 2. Well, look at this.
- 3. All the superheroes on our porch.
Ain't that cute?
- 4. We got Superman here, and Batman...
- 5. and his sidekick Robin.
- 6. The Green Lantern.
And what about you, young man?
- 7. - What about what?
- Who are you supposed to be?
- 8. - I'm Harvey Pekar.
- 9. Harvey Pekar?
That doesn't sound like a superhero to me.
- 10. I ain't no superhero, lady.
- 11. I'm just a kid
from the neighborhood, all right?
- 12. Forget this!
- 13. Why does everybody have to be so stupid?
- 14. Okay, this guy here, he's our man.
- 15. Okay, this guy here, he's our man.
- 16. All grown up and going nowhere.
- 17. Always a pretty scholarly cat.
He never got much of a formal education.
- 18. For the most part, he's lived
in shit neighborhoods, held shit jobs...
- 19. and is now knee-deep
into a disastrous second marriage.
- 20. So if you're the kind of person
looking for romance or escapism...
- 21. or some fantasy figure to save the day,
- 22. - You got the wrong movie.
- That's great.
- 23. So now you got four takes. You ought
to be able to patch one together from there.
- 24. Right? Let's go to the next one, all right?
- 25. Hold on a second.
Do you want some water or something?
- 26. - No, I got lots of orange.
- Do you like orange soda?
- 27. Yeah, orange is all right.
- 28. All right, let's go to the next sequence.
- 29. Did you actually read the script?
- 30. No. A little bit.
- 31. Just to check the construction.
- 32. You know, how the piece was constructed.
- 33. I didn't read it word for word.
- 34. Do you feel weird saying this stuff?
- 35. No, I don't feel weird saying it.
- 36. I don't know how long
my voice is going to hold out.
- 37. Doc, you gotta help me, man.
- 38. My old lady's dumping me
'cause I can't talk.
- 39. She says I'm a social embarrassment.
- 40. Now that she's got a PhD,
she's some hot-shit academic star...
- 41. and I'm nothing but a file clerk.
- 42. Me being a file clerk was fine when I was
signing the damn checks for tuition.
- 43. Harvey, stop talking, please, and open wide.
- 44. I started worrying
my voice would never come back.
- 45. Say "Aah," Mr. Pekar.
- 46. It's torture, I'm telling you.
- 47. What? Is it bad, Doc?
- 48. It's not good.
- 49. It's cancer.
- 50. First I got marital problems, and now
you're telling me I got throat cancer.
- 51. - For Christ's sake, man.
- Harvey, calm down, it's not cancer.
- 52. You have a nodule on your vocal cords,
probably from screaming and yelling.
- 53. If you don't give it a rest,
you're gonna lose your voice completely.
- 54. Okay. But for how long?
- 55. - A few months.
- 56. - Hey, come on, what is this?
- Exactly what it looks like.
- 57. What do you mean?
You mean you're dumping me? For what?
- 58. This plebeian lifestyle...
- 59. just isn't working for me anymore, okay?
- 60. I gotta get out of here before I kill myself.
- 61. Just listen to what I have to say, okay?
- 62. Don't go.
- 63. I need you, baby.
- 64. Please don't go, okay?
- 65. Here's our man.
- 66. Yeah, all right, here's me.
- 67. Or the guy playing me anyway,
though he don't look nothing like me.
- 68. But whatever.
- 69. So it's a few months later, and I'm working
my flunky file clerk gig at the VA hospital.
- 70. My voice still ain't back yet.
- 71. Thank you, Harvey, dear.
- 72. Things seem like they can't get any worse.
- 73. "Plebeian"?
- 74. Where the hell did she get that shit, man?
- 75. "Avoid the reeking herd
- 76. "Shun the polluted flock
- 77. "Live like that stoic bird
- 78. "The eagle of the rock"
- 79. - Hey, Mr. Boats.
- You know what that means, son?
- 80. Yeah, it's from an Elinor Hoyt Wylie poem.
- 81. It means... Excuse me.
- 82. It means stay away from the crowds
of common, ordinary people...
- 83. - and do your own thing.
- 84. It means don't compromise yourself
for women. It ain't gonna do you no good.
- 85. Get away from them as soon as you can.
- 86. I ain't got no woman now.
- 87. - I'm living like the stoic bird, man.
- It's the only way to live, son.
- 88. Look at that fool there.
- 89. Probably listening to that loud rock stuff.
Junk, it's all junk.
- 90. I don't know. I mean...
- 91. rock music's got some good qualities.
- 92. It isn't jazz or nothing, but you know...
- 93. Say, when are you gonna bring me in
some of those good records?
- 94. - Some Nat King Cole with strings.
- I don't got any of that, Mr. Boats.
- 95. Yeah, you got that.
You're keeping them at home, though.
- 96. You won't turn loose the good stuff.
You just sell the junk.
- 97. I keep the stuff I wanna keep.
- 98. I sold a lot of good material
by people that he didn't like.
- 99. Mr. Boats didn't like any blues
or anything like that.
- 100. He played classical violin.
- 101. I started record collecting
when I was 15 or 16 years old.
- 102. I started getting interested in jazz.
- 103. Prior to that, I collected comic books.
- 104. I was always a collector.
- 105. I admit to having
an obsessive-compulsive quality in me.
- 106. It's like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
- 107. You go to thrift shops
and you go to the garage sales...
- 108. because you think you're gonna find
something that's real rare.
- 109. And most of time, it's a total waste of time,
but once in a while...
- 110. you'll come up with something
that'll whet your appetite.
- 111. In the early '60s...
- 112. I was with some buddies at a junk sale,
looking for some choice sides...
- 113. when I met this shy, retiring cat
from Philadelphia named Bob Crumb.
- 114. You know the guy.
- 115. Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural and all.
They made a movie about him, too.
- 116. Jay McShann.
- 117. Come on, Harv, you gonna buy that,
- 118. I don't know, Marty,
it's got a lamination crack.
- 119. A quarter.
- 120. Maybe I could talk it down.
- 121. - You are one cheap bastard, Harvey.
- I know I'm tight, man.
- 122. I live on a government wage.
- 123. You collect Jay McShann, man?
- 124. - Yeah, man, how about you?
- 125. But most of my records are back in Philly.
- 126. Harvey, meet my buddy, Bob Crumb.
He just moved to town.
- 127. He's an artist
with the American Greeting Card Company.
- 128. You should see his comics, Harv.
They're out of sight.
- 129. I'm into comics myself.
- 130. Big Yum Yum Book.
- 131. I'd never seen anything like it.
- 132. This is terrific. I really dig your work, man.
- 133. This Peter Wheat book is by Walt Kelly.
It's pretty rare.
- 134. - Yeah? Can I get good bread for it?
- Not yet.
- 135. Let's get back to your book.
What are you gonna do with it?
- 136. I haven't really thought about it.
It's just an exercise.
- 137. No, man. It's more than just an exercise.
- 138. It's breaking ground, man.
There's some wild shit in here, Bob.
- 139. You're spitting on me, Harvey.
- 140. Crumb and I hung out a lot back then.
- 141. We had records and comics in common.
- 142. Check it out, man.
- 143. Pretty scary.
- 144. You don't know the half of it, man.
- 145. Eventually, people got hip
to Crumb's artwork...
- 146. and he started hanging out
with the bohemian crowd.
- 147. After a while, he got sick of greeting cards
and moved away to San Francisco...
- 148. where he got the whole underground
comic scene off the ground.
- 149. He'd come back to Cleveland
every few years...
- 150. and people would treat him like a celebrity.
- 151. Once, he came to visit
when I was feeling real bad.
- 152. It was right after my wife left me.
- 153. She got so mean to me at the end...
- 154. like I tried to keep her captive
or anything like that.
- 155. I don't know, man.
- 156. But don't think
I'm buying any of this growth crap, man.
- 157. Everybody's always talking about
how bad experiences cause you to grow...
- 158. and all that clichéd stuff.
- 159. Man, I got enough bad experiences
and growth to last me plenty.
- 160. Right now...
- 161. I'd be glad to trade some growth
- 162. How long you staying in Cleveland, man?
- 163. I don't know,
I got to see this chick in New York...
- 164. and I'm really busy
with the comic book stuff.
- 165. It's good bread and all.
I'm just getting sick of the whole scene.
- 166. What are you talking about?
- 167. You make a good living
doing your art, right?
- 168. How many guys get that lucky in their life?
- 169. Listen, I'll tell you something.
- 170. People are starting
to know the name Crumb.
- 171. When you croak, man,
you're gonna leave something behind.
- 172. Yeah, I guess.
- 173. It's not like I'm Blind Lemon Jefferson,
or Big Mama Thornton.
- 174. Come on, man.
- 175. I tell you something,
it sure beats working a gig like mine...
- 176. being a nobody flunky
and selling records on the side for $1.
- 177. Well, that's true.
- 178. Listen, girlie...
- 179. these glasses are six for $2
because I couldn't carry 12.
- 180. But I wanted 12.
So today, I'm buying six more.
- 181. But you should only charge me
$1.50 for them.
- 182. It's all right. You can ask the manager.
- 183. Frank, I need a price check.
- 184. Man, old Jewish ladies will argue forever
with a cashier about anything.
- 185. These glasses...
- 186. You get behind them in line
and you're gonna wait forever.
- 187. because I couldn't carry 12. So today...
- 188. I'm a yid myself...
- 189. and women in my family are like that,
but I never got used to it.
- 190. I mean, I may be cheap,
but I got limits, man.
- 191. Let me explain one more time.
- 192. These glasses are six for $2...
- 193. Wake up! Your whole life's
getting eaten away with this kind of crap.
- 194. What kind of existence is this?
- 195. Is this all a working stiff
like you can expect?
- 196. You gonna suffer in silence for the rest
of your life, or are you gonna make a mark?
- 197. Okay, I have the money right here.
Even money, $1.50.
- 198. You don't even have to
open the cash register.
- 199. Even change. And, dear...
- 200. Oh, shit!
- 201. Ever since I read your stuff, man,
I've been thinking...
- 202. I can write comic book stories...
- 203. that are different from anything
that's been done.
- 204. I figure the guys who are doing
- 205. and superhero stuff, they're really limited.
- 206. Because they got to try to appeal to kids.
- 207. And underground stuff like yours
has been really subversive...
- 208. and it's opened things up politically...
- 209. but there's still plenty more
to be done with them, too.
- 210. Pass the ketchup.
- 211. The words, the pictures,
they could be more of an art form.
- 212. You know, like those French movies...
- 213. or De Sica over in Italy.
- 214. So, anyway, I tried...
- 215. I tried writing some stuff about real life...
- 216. stuff that the everyman's got to deal with.
- 217. These are all about you?
- 218. Yeah.
- 219. You've turned yourself into a comic hero.
- 220. Sort of, but there's no idealized shit.
- 221. There's no phony bullshit.
This is the real thing, man.
- 222. You know, ordinary life
is pretty complex stuff.
- 223. These are really...
- 224. good.
- 225. Really, you think so?
- 226. Yeah, this is great stuff. I dig it.
- 227. Can I take them home and illustrate them?
- 228. You'd really do that for me, man?
- 229. That would be great because
I can't even draw a straight line, Bob.
- 230. What's up with your voice, Harv?
All of a sudden, you sound fine.
- 231. I don't know, man. I guess you cured me.
- 232. That Bonnie, her legs go forever.
- 233. How smart is she?
- 234. I don't know. I guess she's about average.
- 235. Average? Hey, man, average is dumb.
- 236. So what if she's dumb? I don't care.
- 237. "Hey, man, average is dumb."
- 238. Fuck that. That's all stories by yours truly.
- 239. - Hot off the presses?
- That's right.
- 240. We have a regular Hemingway here.
- 241. No way, I don't go in
for any of that macho crap.
- 242. I didn't know you could draw.
- 243. No, I don't draw, doc. I write the stories.
- 244. - Harvey, am I in here?
- You're in there, all right? Take it easy.
- 245. A buddy of mine and some of his friends
do the art work.
- 246. Let me see this.
- 247. Mr. Boats, it's not polite to grab things.
- 248. It's not bad.
- 249. Son, you done good.
- 250. But you know, I was up in Toronto
a few weeks back.
- 251. I saw the Red Chinese ballet.
Now, that was beautiful.
- 252. The way those people
were dancing together...
- 253. those Chinese, they work hard, I tell you.
- 254. Where's everybody going?
- 255. Where are you sick men rushing off to?
- 256. You ain't going nowhere for now.
- 257. Probably not for a long time.
- 258. But damn if they're not a rushing off
to get there.
- 259. Harvey, how do your co-workers and friends
feel about you putting them in your comics?
- 260. They love it. They can't get enough of it.
- 261. They come up to me demanding to know
why I'm not in the new issue.
- 262. Most of them.
- 263. What about overhearing what people say?
Are you always listening at work?
- 264. Were you listening riding the bus?
- 265. - The supermarket?
- Yeah, I listen.
- 266. I fall asleep on people, too,
but I listen some.
- 267. Here's our man, eight comics later.
- 268. A brand new decade, same old bullshit.
- 269. Sure, he gets lots of recognition
for his writing now.
- 270. His comics are praised by all the important
media types telling people what to think.
- 271. But so what?
- 272. It's not like he makes
a living at it, like Bob Crumb.
- 273. He can't go and quit his day job or nothing.
- 274. Who am I kidding?
- 275. Truth is, I'd be lost without my work routine.
- 276. I got a job.
- 277. Hi, Harvey.
- 278. Do you want these gourmet jelly beans?
- 279. I gave up sweets for Lent.
- 280. - Yeah, sure, I'll take them.
- I recommend the piña coladas.
- 281. They're excellent and very authentic tasting.
- 282. It's watermelon. That's pretty good.
- 283. Wait till you try the piña coladas.
- 284. Tell me something.
- 285. Can you eat lentils during Lent?
- 286. Sure, I don't see why not.
- 287. You can't eat meat on certain days...
- 288. but lentils should be acceptable anytime.
- 289. Do you think there's any connection
between lentils and Lent?
- 290. I don't think so. But I'll ask Sister Mary Fred
at church on Sunday.
- 291. Sister Mary Fred, huh?
- 292. Is she cute? She sounds kind of mannish,
but who the hell am I to be picky?
- 293. You're funny. She's a nun.
- 294. So what? Maybe she became a nun
because she couldn't get a guy.
- 295. She became a nun
because she had a higher calling.
- 296. Higher calling? What a crock of shit.
- 297. I don't even know why you
bother praying anyway.
- 298. I enjoy the ritual,
and I'm a very spiritual person.
- 299. You know, you should try
believing in something bigger than yourself.
- 300. It might cheer you up.
- 301. What, do I seem depressed?
- 302. Cut!
- 303. That was great, guys.
The bakery scene's next.
- 304. The bakery scene's next?
I didn't know of a bakery scene.
- 305. Did you ever hear of a bakery scene?
- 306. Bakery is my scene, but not in that way.
- 307. Forget the bakery, let's eat some jelly beans.
- 308. I think one might be lime.
One might be mint.
- 309. What's the difference between this and this?
- 310. One's cherry, one's cinnamon.
- 311. You could tell that by just looking at them?
- 312. Not me. I have to put it in my mouth first.
- 313. Loneliness can feel so bad.
- 314. There have been times I've felt lonely...
- 315. 'cause a lot of the time,
it was just me and my grandmother.
- 316. I'd just be sitting in my room all day...
- 317. watching television or reading books.
- 318. That was before
I bought a computer, of course.
- 319. How do you cope with loneliness, Harvey?
- 320. - Did I say I watched television?
- You mentioned you watch TV...
- 321. you listen to your jazz records, you read...
- 322. you write, you drew your stick figures...
- 323. so you could plan for your next comic book.
- 324. I've seen many of your stick figures.
- 325. That seems to be pretty interesting.
- 326. - Chocolate jelly beans, I'm gonna try one.
- Go ahead.
- 327. Excuse me, can I help you?
- 328. Give me...
- 329. two crullers...
- 330. jelly doughnut with the powdered sugar.
- 331. Thanks for coming.
- 332. - You got any of that day-old bread?
- I think so.
- 333. Here you go.
- 334. $3.
- 335. You're Harvey Pekar?
- 336. Alice Quinn, from school.
- 337. College, yeah.
- 338. We had a couple of Lit classes together.
- 339. What happened to you?
You disappeared after two semesters.
- 340. Yeah, I know.
- 341. I got good grades and all,
but there was that required Math class...
- 342. hanging over my head.
- 343. Eventually, the pressure
got to be too much, so...
- 344. You're doing okay, anyway.
- 345. I heard all about
your jazz reviews and your comics.
- 346. - You did?
- Sure, you're famous.
- 347. Meanwhile, I got my degree
and I'm just a plain old wife and mother.
- 348. I'm not doing as great as you think.
- 349. My second wife divorced me,
I work a dead end job...
- 350. as a file clerk.
- 351. Sometimes I hang out
with the guys on the corner...
- 352. but most of the time
I just stay at home by myself and I read.
- 353. You're luckier than you think.
- 354. Between my husband and my kids...
- 355. it's impossible for me
to curl up with a good book.
- 356. I'm reading this book by Dreiser now.
- 357. - Jennie Gerhardt.
- That's one of my favorites.
- 358. Yeah?
- 359. I hope that book don't end like
so many of those naturalist novels...
- 360. with someone getting crushed to earth...
- 361. by forces he can't control.
- 362. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
- 363. I mean, it's certainly
not your Hollywood happy ending...
- 364. but it's pretty truthful,
which is rare these days.
- 365. - This is me.
- All right.
- 366. - Nice car.
- 367. - I don't have one yet.
- Can I give you a lift somewhere?
- 368. No, that's all right.
It's a nice day, I'll just walk.
- 369. It was nice seeing you.
- 370. When I got home,
I finished reading Jennie Gerhardt.
- 371. It was real good. That Alice was right.
- 372. Sure, Lester, the main character,
croaks in the end...
- 373. but at least he's old
and dies a natural, dignified death.
- 374. I was more alone that weekend than any.
- 375. Sometimes in my sleep,
I'd feel a body next to me...
- 376. like an amputee feels a phantom limb.
- 377. All I did was think about Jennie Gerhardt
and Alice Quinn...
- 378. and all the decades of people I had known.
- 379. The more I thought,
the more I felt like crying.
- 380. Life seemed so sweet and so sad...
- 381. and so hard to let go of in the end.
- 382. But hey, man,
every day is a brand new deal, right?
- 383. Just keep on working
and something's bound to turn up.
- 384. What happened to
the new American Splendor?
- 385. - I think we sold them, babe.
- All of them?
- 386. Yeah.
- 387. Rand, I put one aside for myself
next to the register.
- 388. I haven't even had time to read it yet.
- 389. Sorry, Joyce, I didn't know
you were such a Splendor fan.
- 390. Next time, take it home.
- 391. Maybe I'll call the publisher.
- 392. It'll take so damn long. Shit!
- 393. Why does everything in my life
have to be such a complicated disaster?
- 394. - Okay, maybe we can call someone...
- What is this?
- 395. All right. Okay.
- 396. I'm gonna hustle
before the vibe in here gets any worse.
- 397. You can just hang.
- 398. "Dear Mr. Pekar...
- 399. "greetings from the second smallest state
in the Union...
- 400. "an endless plastics and nylon plantation...
- 401. "controlled by giant chemical corporations.
- 402. "To make matters more dismal, there are
no decent comic book stores in my town...
- 403. "which is why my partner and I
opened one ourselves.
- 404. "Despite our steadily faltering business...
- 405. "my partner managed to sell the last copy
of American Splendor Number 8...
- 406. "out from under me.
- 407. "I'm a big fan,
and I hate to wait for a new order.
- 408. "Is there any way
I can get it from you direct?
- 409. "Sincerely, Joyce Brabner."
- 410. She's got good-looking handwriting.
- 411. "Dear Joyce, thanks for the..."
- 412. "Dear Joyce, thanks for the letter.
- 413. "What do you do besides selling comics?"
- 414. Anybody in the room ever done
any creative writing of any sort?
- 415. "I'm a sometime activist,
and I teach writing to prisoners.
- 416. "I try to help them build an interior life...
- 417. "and make art out of
their monotonous, suffocating routine."
- 418. This sounds familiar.
- 419. "So you married or what?"
- 420. "I'm divorced, thank God."
- 421. Look, I think you and I
got a lot in common, you know?
- 422. How am I gonna get you
to come visit me in Cleveland?
- 423. - Cleveland?
- 424. You think that's a good idea?
- 425. It's a great idea.
- 426. You should meet me
because I'm a great guy.
- 427. Despite the way my comics read...
- 428. I got a lot of redeeming characteristics.
- 429. I don't know. Where would I stay?
- 430. I don't know. With me.
- 431. Don't worry.
I'm not gonna put no moves on you.
- 432. I'm not worried about that.
- 433. Hold on,
I just spilled my chamomile tea all over me.
- 434. So what are you worried about then?
- 435. It's the way all the different artists draw you.
- 436. - What?
- I don't really know what to expect.
- 437. Sometimes you look like a younger Brando.
- 438. But then, the way Crumb draws you...
- 439. you look like a hairy ape, with all these...
- 440. wavy, stinky lines undulating off your body.
- 441. I don't really know what to expect.
- 442. No, those are motion lines.
- 443. I'm an active guy.
- 444. Look, just come out here...
- 445. and I will try to be anyone
that you want me to be, okay?
- 446. That's a dangerous offer.
I'm a notorious reformer.
- 447. Are you Joyce?
- 448. - Hey, Harvey.
- 449. - So we finally meet in person.
- 450. Look, before we get started with any of this,
you might as well know I had a vasectomy.
- 451. - What's wrong?
- 452. Something's wrong.
You keep looking around everywhere.
- 453. I guess I never imagined
you'd eat in a place like this.
- 454. What, me? No, I've never been here.
- 455. I thought you'd like it.
- 456. - But obviously you don't, do you?
- No, it's fine. What difference does it make?
- 457. I don't know. None, I guess.
- 458. They got a lot of meat on this menu.
- 459. You're a vegetarian?
- 460. Kind of, you know, I mean...
- 461. Ever since I got a pet cat...
- 462. I've had a lot of trouble eating animals.
- 463. I support and identify
with groups like PETA:
- 464. but unfortunately,
I'm a self-diagnosed anemic.
- 465. Also, I have all these
food allergies to vegetables...
- 466. which give me serious intestinal distress.
- 467. I guess I have
a lot of borderline health disorders...
- 468. that limit me politically
when it comes to eating.
- 469. You're a sick woman.
- 470. Not yet, but I expect to be.
- 471. Everyone in my family
has some sort of degenerative illness.
- 472. Good evening.
- 473. I was gonna clean up...
- 474. but why should I give you
any false notions?
- 475. The truth is,
I got a serious problem with cleanliness.
- 476. If I had to wash a dish 10 times,
it'd still be dirty.
- 477. They even kicked me out of the army
'cause I couldn't learn to make a bed.
- 478. I've seen worse.
- 479. Could you get me some water
and a few aspirin?
- 480. What, you got a headache?
- 481. - No, but I want to avoid one.
- 482. Let me tell you something.
- 483. Sure is nice to have company.
- 484. You know, I mean...
- 485. despite all your problems,
you seem like a great person.
- 486. I'm sorry if my dating skills are a little rusty.
- 487. It's just that I've been through hell and back
- 488. That last one turned out
to be a real nasty bitch.
- 489. - I had a nice time with you, too.
- 490. You had a nice time?
- 491. Don't make people repeat themselves.
- 492. Sorry.
- 493. Come here.
- 494. Which way is the bathroom?
- 495. Through the kitchen, on the right.
- 496. Joyce, what's wrong? What is it?
- 497. I don't know.
I think that yuppie food did me in.
- 498. I feel terrible.
- 499. Let me at least do something for you.
- 500. Can I make you something?
- 501. - How about some chamomile tea?
- Chamomile tea?
- 502. What's a guy like you doing with that?
I thought you drank soda pop for breakfast.
- 503. I just noticed you drank a lot of it
when we started talking on the phone.
- 504. The girl at the food co-op...
- 505. she picked me out all kinds
of this herbal stuff.
- 506. One of these is good
for stomach aches. Here.
- 507. Grandma Bear's Tummy Mint or something,
- 508. Hey, are you still there?
- 509. I think we should skip the whole
courtship thing and just get married.
- 510. Man, am I glad
I talked you into coming up here.
- 511. You know, any more time alone,
I really might have lost it.
- 512. Me, too.
- 513. You don't have any problems
with moving to Cleveland?
- 514. Not really.
- 515. I find most American cities
to be depressing in the same way.
- 516. And you're okay with the vasectomy thing?
- 517. Hey, Toby.
- 518. No, you can't have
any of my White Castle hamburger...
- 519. so please don't even ask.
- 520. - Yeah? Can I have a fry?
- Okay, but just a couple, Harvey.
- 521. I'm not going to be eating dinner
until very late...
- 522. and this has got to hold me over.
- 523. What have you got, a church function?
- 524. No, I'm driving to Toledo to see a movie.
Would you like to come?
- 525. No, I gotta go to Delaware tonight.
I'm getting married.
- 526. - Why Delaware?
- The chick I'm marrying is from Wilmington.
- 527. Plus, I got to help her
move her stuff back here.
- 528. Why are you driving to Toledo
to see a movie?
- 529. It's not playing at the Mapletown.
- 530. - I didn't know you had a girlfriend.
- Yeah, we met last week.
- 531. What movie could possibly be worth
driving 260 miles roundtrip for?
- 532. It's a new film called Revenge of the Nerds.
- 533. It's about a group of nerd college students...
- 534. who are being picked on
all the time by the jocks.
- 535. So they decide to take revenge.
- 536. So what you're saying is
you identify with those nerds?
- 537. Yes, I consider myself a nerd...
- 538. and this movie has uplifted me.
- 539. There's this one scene where a nerd
grabs the microphone during a pep rally...
- 540. and announces that he is a nerd
and that he is proud of it...
- 541. and stands up for the rights of other nerds.
- 542. - Right on.
- Then he asks all the kids at the pep rally...
- 543. who think they are nerds, to come forward.
- 544. So nearly everyone in the place does.
That's the way the movie ends.
- 545. - So the nerds won?
- 546. All right.
- 547. You know, you got this movie,
and I'm getting hitched.
- 548. - We both had a good month.
- 549. - Harvey? Wait!
- 550. How long will you be in Delaware?
Because I'd like to see this movie with you.
- 551. I don't know. I'm gonna be gone a week.
- 552. But then, I'm gonna have a wife.
So I'm going to have to bring her along, too.
- 553. Is it a girl flick?
- 554. Depends on the girl.
What kind of girl is your new bride?
- 555. Is she a nerd?
- 556. I don't know, man.
- 557. Maybe, yeah. She's into herbal tea.
- 558. I did end up becoming a character
in his comics.
- 559. Harvey tends to push
the negative or the sour.
- 560. And he can be very depressed,
and therefore very depressing.
- 561. Harvey, do you think
you portray Joyce fairly?
- 562. Yeah, I think I portray her fairly.
- 563. There's some things that she does
that I don't put in there...
- 564. for obvious reasons.
I don't wanna get my head cut off.
- 565. I think my portrayal is generally
- 566. There've been stories
that I've participated in...
- 567. or things that have happened,
and I've seen them...
- 568. as a lot more happy things going on
in there. He just doesn't put that in...
- 569. because he just doesn't think
that sunshine and flowers sell.
- 570. Is that right?
- 571. You always say, "Misery loves company."
- 572. You know, I'm just a gloomy guy, that's all.
- 573. It's my perspective: gloom and doom.
- 574. And see, I thought I was marrying somebody
with a sense of humor.
- 575. I guess I fooled you.
- 576. What a crock of shit, man.
- 577. - That's not the point.
- You missed the whole point of the movie.
- 578. - That's not the point.
- You missed the whole point of the movie.
- 579. Where the hell am I supposed to find
the point in garbage?
- 580. I agree with Toby.
I think it's a story of hope and tolerance.
- 581. Yes, it's about time that the people
who get picked on get to be the heroes.
- 582. It's an entertaining flick and all,
and I can see why you like it, Toby.
- 583. But those people on the screen
ain't even supposed to be you.
- 584. They're college students...
- 585. who live with their parents
in big houses in the suburbs.
- 586. They're gonna get degrees, get good jobs,
and they're gonna stop being nerds.
- 587. Remember what I told you
about loud talking? Use your inside voice.
- 588. Look, Toby, the guys in that movie...
- 589. are not 28-year-old file clerks
who live with their grandmother...
- 590. - in an ethnic ghetto.
- That's enough.
- 591. They didn't get their computers
the way you did...
- 592. by trading in a bunch of box tops
and $49.50 at the supermarket.
- 593. You're funny, Harvey.
- 594. I'm getting in the front.
- 595. Sure, Toby, fine.
You go to the movies and daydream...
- 596. but this Revenge of the Nerds ain't reality.
It's Hollywood bullshit.
- 597. Harvey, let him alone.
- 598. The thing that I loved about it is
I was transported to another time in my life.
- 599. - I like when they took the video cameras...
- if everyone could see it...
- 600. It's the same as the "I Have a Dream"
- 601. It's very empowering.
- 602. Maybe I was being so harsh on Toby
on account of my own problems.
- 603. You see, I wasn't even married a month...
- 604. and my old lady
was already showing signs of trouble.
- 605. Granted, I tend to get married fast,
'cause I'll take any woman that'll have me.
- 606. But this time I really met my match.
- 607. How about these old 78s? Can't you
sell them to one of your collectors?
- 608. Are you kidding me, man? No way.
- 609. I ain't getting rid of my 78s.
- 610. Forget it, then. I give up.
- 611. How can I make more storage space
if you won't get rid of anything?
- 612. You know what? I'll get rid of stuff.
- 613. - Just not my good stuff.
- Everything is your good stuff.
- 614. How am I supposed to live here
if there's no room for me?
- 615. Come on, baby.
- 616. I'll make room for you, okay?
- 617. You just have to give me time.
I'm not so good at these things.
- 618. - Because you're obsessive-compulsive.
- Come on!
- 619. I don't wanna hear that psycho-babble crap.
- 620. I don't care if you don't wanna hear it.
You are the poster child for the DSM III:
- 621. I'll have you know
I come from a very dysfunctional family.
- 622. I can spot a personality disorder miles away.
- 623. Hello, Joyce.
- 624. Is Harvey home?
- 625. Borderline autistic.
- 626. Are you listening to me?
I tell you, that Toby is a spy.
- 627. Paranoid personality disorder.
- 628. Polymorphously perverse.
- 629. Hey, leave a message.
- 630. This is me. Pick up the phone.
- 631. You're not going to believe this...
- 632. but some LA producer called
and wants to do a play about my life.
- 633. Call me back. Call me here.
- 634. Delusions of grandeur.
- 635. See, I think comics
can pretty much be an art form, man.
- 636. I mean, the pictures can be
as good as they want to be...
- 637. and the words can be
as good as they want to be...
- 638. and a man can do pretty much
anything he wants to.
- 639. That's true, but I didn't come all the way
from Delaware to talk about comics.
- 640. Where is my American splendor
- 641. in a world that's cloudy and gray?
- 642. Where life keeps passing by me day by day
- 643. Where is my American splendor
- 644. in a world that's cloudy and gray?
- 645. Where life keeps passing by me day by day
- 646. If you think reading comics about your life
- 647. try watching a play about it.
- 648. God only knows how I'll feel
when I see this movie.
- 649. Things were going pretty good for a change.
- 650. Variety called me
"the blue-collar Mark Twain."
- 651. Doubleday was interested in publishing
an anthology of American Splendor.
- 652. I hate checking bags, man.
It always takes forever.
- 653. The bus is gonna leave soon. That means
I gotta shell out an extra $30 for a cab.
- 654. Figures. That lucky yuppie
is gonna get the bus in time.
- 655. - You know, vasectomies are reversible.
- Goddamn yuppies get everything, man.
- 656. Are you listening to me?
I said vasectomies are reversible.
- 657. What? What are you talking about?
- 658. I don't want no kids.
- 659. And I came clean about my vasectomy
the first time I set eyes on you.
- 660. I know, but I think things have changed.
- 661. - I think we can be a family.
- 662. Right. What kind of family
could we possibly be?
- 663. I ain't no good with kids.
- 664. Christ, I can barely take care of myself.
- 665. I can take care of the kid and you.
- 666. No way, Joyce. Forget it.
- 667. I can't have no kids. I can't do it.
- 668. Where the hell
is that Ornette Coleman album?
- 669. You know, I got a review due tomorrow.
- 670. I didn't touch it, Harvey.
Would you please let me sleep?
- 671. Come on, it's 1:00.
How late can a person sleep, man?
- 672. It happens to be Saturday,
you selfish son of a bitch.
- 673. That don't make no difference.
- 674. - Don't tell me what to do.
- I'm not telling you what to do.
- 675. I'm the one who moved into your city,
into your home...
- 676. into your vasectomy...
- 677. into your whole screwed-up life.
- 678. The least you could do
is allow me to live here in my own way.
- 679. I tried everything...
- 680. but nothing could get this woman
out of bed.
- 681. I mean, she wouldn't get a job,
wouldn't go out...
- 682. wouldn't make friends, nothing.
- 683. Joyce diagnosed herself
as clinically depressed.
- 684. I didn't know
what the hell she was going through...
- 685. but it was sure taking its toll on me.
- 686. Joyce, we got a message here.
How come you didn't...
- 687. Useless, man.
- 688. Hi. This is a message for Harvey Pekar.
My name is Jonathan Greene...
- 689. and I'm a producer
of Late Night with David Letterman.
- 690. We want to talk to you about coming
on the show to plug your comics.
- 691. Please give us a call at 212-555-3333.
- 692. Thanks.
- 693. Joyce finally got off the futon.
- 694. No.
- 695. Come on, who the hell cares?
- 696. - Jesus Christ.
- Give that to me.
- 697. What the hell are you doing?
- 698. Merchandising.
- 699. - People like this show?
- 700. I can't believe my voice is going.
- 701. What's the matter?
You were fine in the hotel.
- 702. You want something to drink?
- 703. I'm hungry. Aren't you hungry?
- 704. They should give you
doughnuts or something. Look at this.
- 705. - Dave's ready for you now.
- He is?
- 706. You got something to eat?
'Cause my stomach is growling.
- 707. - There's no time to eat.
- Come on.
- 708. Wait, what about the doll?
- 709. He's got it at the desk.
Would you relax about that?
- 710. - Guys, we're in a hurry.
- 711. - Which way?
- Right this way.
- 712. Thank you, boys.
- 713. Our next guest tonight works as a file clerk
at a Cleveland hospital.
- 714. He also writes comic books which deal
with his day-to-day pains and pleasures.
- 715. This is an anthology
of the nine of those comics.
- 716. It's entitled American Splendor.
- 717. From off the streets of Cleveland, folks,
please say hello to Harvey Pekar.
- 718. Harvey, come out here.
- 719. Hi, Harvey.
- 720. Thanks for coming out here.
- 721. Have a seat.
- 722. What do you mean calling me "curious"?
I met you before the show.
- 723. - I meant "curious" in a fascinating way.
- All right.
- 724. A man who has the presence
of one who is quite fascinating.
- 725. 'Cause I met you before the show.
I thought you were a pretty nice guy.
- 726. I thought, wait a minute,
I might be nursing a viper in my bosom.
- 727. Something like that.
- 728. You're a little defensive about this?
- 729. Yeah, I'm waiting for those Cleveland jokes.
- 730. - All right, settle down.
- Yeah, all right.
- 731. Let's explain to folks
who may not be familiar with your work...
- 732. what it is you do here exactly.
- 733. You have comic books
about you in your daily life.
- 734. And you also have a regular job
in Cleveland working at a hospital.
- 735. That's right.
- 736. - You know this guy?
- I'm beginning to wonder.
- 737. You could probably get by on
what you make selling your work.
- 738. Because people want you to write more,
and you're publishing this anthology.
- 739. Who? What people?
What are you talking about?
- 740. - Where the hell do you get that stuff?
- I know that you...
- 741. You know, that...
- 742. I'm no show-biz phony. I'm telling the truth.
Go on, man.
- 743. You can't...
- 744. - At least he's keeping up with Letterman.
- Pandering is more like it.
- 745. You mean to tell me that other people
haven't contacted you for writing literary...
- 746. - I mean...
- You could making a living as a writer.
- 747. What are you trying to do over there?
- 748. I'm trying to get some news.
There's a big story about to break...
- 749. about the US selling arms to Iran
and the Contras.
- 750. - Just relax.
- Don't worry about it.
- 751. Finally, something good. Watch this.
- 752. - I got a job.
- I know you've got a job. I've got a job.
- 753. - We're both very lucky. We both have jobs.
- Then what's the matter?
- 754. - Joke, man.
- We gotta go.
- 755. Harvey, I like you. I'm on your side.
I enjoy the comic books.
- 756. - Quickly, tell us about the little doll.
- My wife made it.
- 757. - Am I giving you a hard time?
- 758. - Am I making you nervous?
- 759. We have to go now.
I wanted to mention these are for sale.
- 760. - They're made out of your old clothing.
- 761. - What do these go for?
- 762. - $34 for this?
- What are you, cheaper than me?
- 763. - Would you pay $34 for that?
- No, but I'm not asking it. My wife is.
- 764. Such brilliant repartee.
- 765. Shit.
- 766. So, what do you think?
- 767. Megalomaniac.
- 768. Hi, this is a message for Harvey Pekar.
- 769. From the streets of Cleveland,
ladies and gentlemen, please welcome...
- 770. the one, the only Harvey Pekar.
Harvey, come on out, buddy.
- 771. It became clear pretty fast that
I was invited on the show just for laughs.
- 772. You look like a lot of guys
you see sleeping on buses.
- 773. - Sorry.
- It's all right, Dave, have a good time.
- 774. - I know, we're doing what we can.
- It's your world. I'm just living in it.
- 775. But what the hell did I care?
- 776. Letterman was an okay guy.
Let him take potshots at me.
- 777. So long as I got paid
and got to plug my comics.
- 778. I think to myself, you look like every
police artist sketch I've ever seen.
- 779. Funny thing is...
- 780. something about me and Letterman
clicked for the viewers.
- 781. He kept wanting me back.
- 782. - It was about a year ago, this month...
- That's right.
- 783. No, last month.
- 784. A year ago, last month, you made
your first appearance on the show.
- 785. - What has happened to you since?
- Not much, David.
- 786. It's slow going. I still have the same job.
- 787. But see, Harvey, you're the embodiment
of the American Dream.
- 788. And it wasn't just me
getting all the attention.
- 789. Action.
- 790. Are these free?
- 791. As a result of my appearances
- 792. my buddy Toby Radloff,
landed a gig extolling the virtues of MTV.
- 793. Watch where you're going.
- 794. - All right, you fucking yuppie freak.
- Who the fuck is this on my set?
- 795. Look at this, the man of the hour.
- 796. This is my new do for the MTV generation.
- 797. We came upon Toby Radloff
while doing a story in Cleveland last year...
- 798. on his friend, the comic artist Harvey Pekar.
- 799. Toby's a genuine nerd, and he doesn't care
if you have a problem with that.
- 800. Hi, my name is Toby Radloff,
a genuine nerd from Cleveland, Ohio.
- 801. And as you know, many hip people...
- 802. including a lot of college students,
are going to be heading for spring break.
- 803. But I have decided
to spend my own personal spring break...
- 804. right here in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio.
- 805. That day, I had an epiphany.
- 806. It seemed that real salt-of-the-earth people,
like Toby and me...
- 807. were getting co-opted
by these huge corporations.
- 808. We were getting held up and ridiculed
as losers in the system.
- 809. This is Toby Radloff,
genuine spring-break party nerd...
- 810. signing off.
- 811. What can I say? It was the '80s, man.
- 812. Harvey, are you listening to me?
- 813. I've been reading about these kids
who grew up in these war zones.
- 814. You know, Palestinians, Israelis...
- 815. El Salvadorians, Cambodians.
These kids are amazing...
- 816. You're that guy
from the Letterman show, right?
- 817. Yeah, that's me.
- 818. That's so excellent.
You and Stupid Pet Tricks are a riot.
- 819. Yeah? Then how about
you buy one of my comics, man?
- 820. That's the only reason
I go on that dumb show, anyway.
- 821. Right. Sure. Later, Harvey Pekar.
- 822. - What an asshole!
- I want to write a political comic book...
- 823. about these kids.
- 824. Listen to me. There's a conference
in Jerusalem in a couple of weeks.
- 825. I'm gonna start
by doing some interviews there.
- 826. Wait a minute.
What are you talking about, Jerusalem?
- 827. Lately I can barely drag you off the futon
to go with me to the Letterman show.
- 828. Do you want to know why?
- 829. Because I don't give a damn
about the Letterman show.
- 830. I want to do something important to me,
something that matters.
- 831. You know I only go on the show
for the extra bread.
- 832. Maybe if you got your lazy ass up,
and got yourself a job...
- 833. I could do something that matters, too.
- 834. - Harvey, you're yelling.
- You ever think of that?
- 835. Don't...
- 836. I'm sorry.
- 837. Joyce, I'm sorry.
- 838. I guess it was good to finally see
Joyce excited about something of her own.
- 839. This is crazy. Can't you just
do something here in Cleveland?
- 840. You'll survive a couple of weeks by yourself.
- 841. All right.
- 842. Be careful out there, all right? I love you.
- 843. Sure, I was happy for her,
but I was still upset for me.
- 844. It was later that night
when I first found the lump.
- 845. I was determined to put it out of my mind
until Joyce got back.
- 846. Easier said than done.
- 847. What do I care? Just give me the chart.
- 848. - What is your problem?
- Miguel, look...
- 849. I just don't want to keep
coming back here for it, okay?
- 850. Harvey, that patient's due to be admitted
a week from now.
- 851. - Why do you always fight?
- How often must we go through this?
- 852. Just give me the fucking chart!
- 853. - We'll see what the doctor has to say.
- 854. What?
- 855. What do you mean, another two weeks?
- 856. Jesus Christ.
You've got to come home sometime!
- 857. Hello?
- 858. Goddamn it.
- 859. Just walk straight out to the desk.
- 860. I know. Okay, fine.
- 861. - You all set?
- 862. I was starting to lose it.
- 863. Between the lump, the loneliness,
I felt like everything was closing in on me.
- 864. And with Joyce over there
saving the world...
- 865. I never felt more like a sell-out hack
in my life.
- 866. Okay.
- 867. You know, folks, if it really is true
that misery loves company...
- 868. our next guest must always have
a house full of people.
- 869. Okay, asshole.
- 870. You're gonna pay for that one, man.
- 871. Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome back Harvey Pekar.
- 872. Harvey, this is not the forum.
This is not Meet The Press.
- 873. You just want me to talk about
simple-minded bullshit, David.
- 874. - I ain't co-opted like you. I got things to say.
- Relax, Harvey.
- 875. For instance, I want to talk about
a conflict of interest situation.
- 876. Can we do that, David? How about that?
- 877. You know,
like GE owning this network, NBC.
- 878. GE has basically become
a military, industrial, financial...
- 879. Can we get the singing shitzu back here?
Has he left the building yet?
- 880. You think NBC news is gonna cover
what they do fairly?
- 881. - I got other things I wanna talk about.
- That's enough...
- 882. Just shut up, man! Don't push me.
- 883. - I'm doing my own thing.
- Harvey, this is not...
- 884. Are you afraid of the truth, David?
- 885. It's not about what you're saying.
It's about your choice of venue.
- 886. It may come as a shock to you,
but this is a comedy show.
- 887. - Not tonight, it ain't.
- Joe, come check this out.
- 888. Take your winning personality
and go get your own show.
- 889. - I don't want my own goddamn show.
- We've had you on this show many times.
- 890. You sulk, complain,
and promote your comic book...
- 891. and you really haven't been appreciative.
- 892. You didn't do me any favors, okay?
- 893. I'm still a file clerk.
I've always been a file clerk...
- 894. and it's no thanks to you
or to your goddamn pathetic audience.
- 895. We're gonna take a commercial.
- 896. And when we come back,
guess who's not gonna be here.
- 897. You want me to leave, David?
Come on, ask me like a man.
- 898. - Don't go hiding behind a commercial.
- Are things okay at home, Harvey?
- 899. Things are just great at home.
Okay, goodbye, Dave.
- 900. Goodbye, America, and thanks for nothing.
- 901. Harvey Pekar, ladies and gentlemen.
We'll be right back.
- 902. - I guess you really did it this time.
- Who the hell cares?
- 903. That show wasn't helping my sales anyway.
- 904. Baby...
- 905. please don't go away anymore.
- 906. I just can't take being alone, you know?
- 907. If you met those kids over there,
you wouldn't ask that of me.
- 908. I'm telling you something...
- 909. if you go away again, I'm gonna lose it.
- 910. This is not up for discussion.
I need this in my life right now.
- 911. I do appreciate the fact
that you missed me so much, baby.
- 912. Harvey, what is that?
- 913. I don't understand.
- 914. Does "tumor" mean the same thing
- 915. We know the growth is malignant.
- 916. What we don't know
is how far it may have spread.
- 917. Once we have the results, we can make
informed decisions about treatment.
- 918. Cancer.
- 919. Diagnosis.
- 920. MRI.
- 921. Cancer.
- 922. How can I have cancer?
- 923. - I don't feel sick at all.
- That's a positive thing.
- 924. My cousin Norman died of lymphoma.
- 925. He was 29. He was a brilliant oncologist.
- 926. Stop it! You're not gonna die, Harvey.
- 927. What's gonna happen to you, baby?
Who's gonna take care of you...
- 928. Look at me and focus.
- 929. We are gonna get through this.
- 930. I understand illness.
I know how to handle these things.
- 931. Yeah, but that's you, you know?
- 932. I'm not strong enough.
I don't know how to be positive.
- 933. I can't do that. I can't do it.
- 934. - Yes, you can.
- No, I can't.
- 935. I'll tell you how.
- 936. You'll make a comic book
of the whole thing.
- 937. You'll document every detail.
- 938. And that way, you'll remove yourself
from the experience until it's over.
- 939. I can't do that. I'm just not strong enough.
- 940. Man, I just wanna die.
- 941. That's fine. I'll do it without you.
- 942. I'm Fred.
You called me about the comic book.
- 943. Right, the artist. Come in.
- 944. This is my daughter, Danielle.
- 945. I had to bring her along.
I hope you don't mind.
- 946. Hi, Danielle. What's that you're holding?
- 947. A pony.
- 948. A pony? What's his name?
- 949. She's a girl. Clarissa.
- 950. Oh, I see.
- 951. I'm Joyce, and I'm very pleased
to meet both you and Clarissa.
- 952. I'm real sorry to hear about Harvey.
Is he here?
- 953. He's going to work till next week
when he starts the chemo.
- 954. That's why I want this project started...
- 955. because once he's stuck here,
I know he'll take over.
- 956. Shit.
- 957. Fucking idiot.
- 958. Hey, Joyce, open the door.
- 959. I forgot my keys again.
- 960. Hold the door.
- 961. Open the fucking door, man!
- 962. - Hey, Harvey.
- 963. What's going on, man?
- 964. You see, I thought it was a great idea.
- 965. Joyce said if we try to just follow you
through your treatments...
- 966. She thought it was a good idea, too,
- 967. Here's some of the ideas
we've been batting around.
- 968. All right.
- 969. Jesus.
- 970. Joyce has no idea what she's doing, man.
- 971. There's too many words in these frames.
- 972. When are you coming back, Fred?
- 973. She said something about next Tuesday,
which is fine with me. It's just...
- 974. The only thing is,
I might have the kid again.
- 975. My ex-wife is supposed to take her, but
I don't have much faith in her showing up.
- 976. She's in worse shape than me these days.
- 977. Next week...
- 978. my treatment begins.
- 979. Do me a favor, man. Bring the kid, will you?
- 980. Thanks.
- 981. I wanna die.
- 982. - Joyce.
- 983. What's wrong, Harvey?
- 984. What are you doing up? What is it?
- 985. Tell me the truth.
- 986. Am I a guy who writes about himself...
- 987. in a comic book?
- 988. Or am I just a character in that book?
- 989. What are you talking about?
What are you saying?
- 990. If I die, will that character keep going?
- 991. Or will he just fade away?
- 992. Oh, my God. Harvey, wake up.
- 993. Wake up, Harvey. Come on.
- 994. Oh, no. Come on, wake up.
- 995. Can you hear me?
- 996. My name is Harvey Pekar.
- 997. That's an unusual name: Harvey Pekar.
- 998. 1960 was the year I got my first apartment
and my first phone book.
- 999. Now, imagine my surprise
when I looked up my name...
- 1000. and saw that in addition to me,
another Harvey Pekar was listed.
- 1001. You know, I was listed as Harvey L. Pekar.
- 1002. My middle name is Lawrence.
- 1003. He was listed as Harvey Pekar.
- 1004. Therefore, his was a pure listing.
- 1005. Then in the '70s...
- 1006. I noticed that a third Harvey Pekar
was listed in the phone book.
- 1007. Now, this filled me with curiosity.
- 1008. How can there be three people
with such an unusual name in the world...
- 1009. let alone in one city?
- 1010. Then one day...
- 1011. a person I work with
expressed her sympathy to me...
- 1012. concerning what she thought
was the death of my father.
- 1013. She pointed out an obituary notice
in the newspaper...
- 1014. for a man named Harvey Pekar.
- 1015. And one of his sons was named Harvey.
- 1016. These were the other Harvey Pekars.
- 1017. And six months later, Harvey Pekar, Jr. Died.
- 1018. Although I'd met neither man...
- 1019. I was filled with sadness.
- 1020. "What were they like?" I thought.
- 1021. It seemed our lives had been linked
in some indefinable way.
- 1022. But the story does not end there.
- 1023. For two years later, another Harvey Pekar
appeared in the phone book.
- 1024. Who are these people?
- 1025. Where do they come from?
- 1026. What do they do?
- 1027. What's in a name?
- 1028. Who is Harvey Pekar?
- 1029. We've got T-shirts for sale upstairs,
if you're interested.
- 1030. Here's our man, a year later.
- 1031. Somehow I made it through the treatments,
and the doctors are optimistic.
- 1032. I guess Joyce was right
about doing a big comic book.
- 1033. We published the thing as a graphic novel,
our first collaboration...
- 1034. and ended up with rave reviews.
- 1035. We even won
a couple of National Book Awards.
- 1036. Go figure.
- 1037. Those are beautiful.
- 1038. Did you find this in there?
I didn't even see those.
- 1039. Ever seen one of these flowers?
- 1040. Are you finished?
- 1041. Danielle, I love it. Very expressive colors.
- 1042. What is it, Harvey?
- 1043. That was the doctor.
- 1044. He says I'm all clear.
- 1045. The weirdest thing
that came out of my illness was Danielle.
- 1046. With her real mother running around
who knows where...
- 1047. and seeing how well her and Joyce got on...
- 1048. Fred decided
she'd have a better life with us.
- 1049. I was scared at first, but then I thought,
what the hell. She's a good kid.
- 1050. Hi, Harvey.
- 1051. So we ended up taking her
and raising her as our own.
- 1052. - You keep reading them backwards.
- I like reading them backwards.
- 1053. Is that one you?
- 1054. I keep telling you, all of them's me, man.
- 1055. You look like a monster.
- 1056. Wait till you see
what you're gonna look like.
- 1057. - Me?
- Yeah, you're part of the story, too, now.
- 1058. What story?
- 1059. The story of my life.
- 1060. I know I'm not as interesting as The Little
Mermaid and all that magical crap...
- 1061. I think I'm gonna write my own comic.
- 1062. - Yeah? What about?
- I'm not sure yet.
- 1063. But not about you.
- 1064. I think you have enough already.
- 1065. You should write about
things in your own life.
- 1066. You know, like school...
- 1067. and ponies. I don't know. Girl stuff.
- 1068. Do you have to hold my hand?
- 1069. What are you, embarrassed of me?
- 1070. I know, I'm embarrassing.
I felt the same way about my father.
- 1071. No. It's just, when you hold my hand,
you squeeze it too hard.
- 1072. Go on.
- 1073. Joyce is right.
You are obsessive-compulsive.
- 1074. Go on.
- 1075. Yeah, so I guess comics brought me to life.
- 1076. But don't think
this is some sunny, happy ending.
- 1077. Every day is still a major struggle.
- 1078. Joyce and I fight like crazy.
And she barely works.
- 1079. The kid's got ADD and is a real handful.
- 1080. My life is total chaos.
- 1081. With a little luck, I'll get a window
of good health between retiring and dying.
- 1082. The golden years, right? Who knows?
- 1083. Between my pension
and the chunk of change I get for this film...
- 1084. I should be able to swing something.
- 1085. Sure, I'll lose the war eventually.
- 1086. But the goal is to win a few skirmishes
along the way, right?
- 1087. Surprise!
- 1088. For he's a jolly good fellow
- 1089. Which nobody can deny
- 1090. Surprise.