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JULY 21, 2010

From off the streets of Cleveland

Nighttime view of West 65th and Detroit Ave., ClevelandWhat could be more appropriate than seeing the film American Splendor, based on Harvey Pekar's life, at the Capitol Theater?

The Capitol is just steps away from this intersection. In the film the storefront in the center of the photo was the backdrop for a conversation between Harvey and R. Crumb, talking about the idea of Crumb illustrating Harvey's stories.

Tonight, though, watching the film was bittersweet. It was shown as a benefit for the American Cancer Society. Last week Harvey died of cancer.

A couple hundred people attended, including lots of folks from the neighborhood. It was a good feeling to look around and see many familiar faces.

On stage Harvey's friend Toby Radloff introduced the film by talking about their history together. It was an interesting and at times touching reflection. As he talked I was wishing that I'd had the foresight to record his words.

Fortunately you can see a shorter, more focused but still heartfelt comment from Toby in this video.

Here, from the website of film producer Wayne Alan Harold, is Toby's farewell salute to Harvey.

See also:

RIP, Harvey Pekar (July 13, 2010)

Some Last Bits of Splendor (NY Times blog entry)


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