About Harvey Pekar
Cleveland, Ohio native Harvey Pekar is best known for his autobiographical slice-of-life comic book series American Splendor, a first-person account of Pekar’s downtrodden life. The series has been published on an approximately annual basis since 1976. Pekar self-published the series until the early 1990s, when Dark Horse took over publication. In 1987, Pekar was honored with the American Book Award for the series. In 2003, Harvey’s life became the basis of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning film American Splendor, starring Paul Giamatti.
American Splendor is illustrated by high-profile artists such as Robert Crumb, Frank Stack and Joe Sacco. The comic strip’s international appeal was also made evident through Pekar’s collaboration with comic book illustrator Colin Warneford of Gateshead, England for the aptly-titled issue American Splendour: Transatlantic Comics.
Pekar began his writing career as a prolific music and book critic. His reviews have been published in the Boston Herald, the Austin Chronicle, Jazz Times, Urban Dialect (a paper native to Cleveland), and Down Beat Magazine, among many other journals. His critiques are available on the Internet at numerous websites and dispersed amongst personal homepages from his devoted fans. Pekar also collaborated with his wife, Joyce Brabner, on a book-length autobio comic Our Cancer Year, published by Four Walls Eight Windows.
His most recent books are Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story (Ballantine Books, April 2006), American Splendor: Our Movie Year (Ballantine Books, 2004), The Quitter (DC Comics, 2005) and the forthcoming Macedonia (Villard, July 2007).
Pekar has made two cameo appearances in films, has played one version of “Harvey Pekar” in American Splendor, and has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman eight times between 1986-1994. It was Pekar’s interest in politics, and specifically NBC’s affiliation with General Electric, that got him banned from the show. Eventually he was asked to return and Pekar made two more appearances in the early 1990s.
Despite keeping himself extremely busy with all of his contributions to various kinds of media, Pekar maintains a very low profile in Cleveland. In 2001, he retired from his job as a full-time file clerk at the local VA Hospital, where he had worked since 1966. He lives with his wife Joyce.
About Heather Roberson
Heather Roberson, the co-author and protagonist of Macedonia, is a writer based in New York City. She was a columnist for the Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Missouri where she was born. She has co-authored two other books, Called to Courage (University of Missouri Press, 2002) and Into the Spotlight (University of Missouri Press, 2005).
Her interest in war prevention began in 1993 when she traveled to Vietnam with a contingent of Vietnam War veterans. While studying at the University of California at Berkeley’s Peace and Conflict program, she focused her 300-page undergraduate thesis on the development of legal systems as tools of war prevention in the Republic of Macedonia. On her way to the Balkans, she stopped in her home state of Missouri, where she met celebrated underground comic book legend Harvey Pekar, best known for his comic series American Splendor. Their mutual interest in peace and prevention of war sparked their current work, Macedonia.
Heather is politically active and is Special Advisor to the Macedonia-based war prevention organization, CIVIL. She is also co-director of the New York-based political organization, ACT NOW.
In the fall, Heather will be traveling to Macedonia as special advisor and speaker to the annual Peace Unlimited Festival.
About Ed Piskor
Ed, the artist on Macedonia, was born in the depressed former steel city of Homestead Pennsylvania in 1982, where money was tight but pencils and paper were easy to come by. Always destined to draw comics as a profession, he made his way to the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, where he studied every detail on the creation of comic books endlessly.
Fourteen steady months of hard work have yielded the artwork for Macedonia, which happens to be Ed’s first graphic novel in what looks to be a promising career in the medium. He has also contributed many smaller strips for various publications over the past few years and created some great, sought-after mini comics such as Isolation Chamber and Deviant Funnies.
Ed is continuing his working relationship with Harvey Pekar, as they are working on a book about the beat generation that is due to come out sometime in 2008. He is also working on completing his own graphic novel that he is writing and drawing, though it is a little premature to get into those details.
Piskor would very much like to thank his parents, in particular, for letting him freeload during the production of Macedonia and he would also like to thank his friends for putting up with his solitary nature.