Harvey Pekar, author of the groundbreaking autobiographical comic book series American Splendor, was found dead early Monday morning by his wife Joyce Brabner in their Cleveland Heights, Ohio home.  He was 70.  American Splendor chronicled his life as a file clerk in a Veteran’s Administration Hospital and was adapted into the 2003 film of the same name which starred Paul Giamatti as Pekar.

Among others, Pekar was also the author of the autobiographical The Quitter, The Beats, a history of the Beat movement, and Studs Terkel’s Working: A Graphic Adaptation. He won the 1987 American Book Award for the first American Splendor collection and the 1995 Harvey Award for Best Graphic Album of Original Work for Our Cancer Year.

His belief in the untapped possibilities of the comic medium was undoubtedly best expressed in his frequently quoted statement “Comics are words and pictures.  You can do anything with words and pictures.”