Back in early November, we told you about the Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000 to build a statue memorializing Cleveland writer Harvey Pekar. The beloved contributor to the art of comic-book storytelling died last year.
The campaign launched November 3 and and has officially ended, having far surpassed its goal; the fund now totals $36,888.
“Not to sound too much like Harvey, but I’ll relax when it’s deposited in the account,” says Pekar’s wife Joyce Brabner. That will happen at midnight today. One contributor gave $1,500, one gave $1,000, and another gave $500. But a majority of the 764 backers gave $100 or less — and most were strangers to Brabner.
“I knew some of them, but a number of them seem to have known me or had fond memories of meeting me and Harvey,” says Brabner. “There are all these great stories coming back to us, from as far away as Japan.”
The Harvey Pekar Library Statue: Comics As Art & Literature Desk will be placed in the Cleveland Heights/University Heights Lee Road Library, where the writer was a nearly daily visitor, and stand outside the library’s Harvey & Friends bookstore. The statue, by local sculptor Justin Coulter, will depict a small figure of Pekar stepping out of a comics page. It will sit on a desk with drawers filled with art supplies, so visitors can sit down and tap into their own Harvey-inspired creativity. Any money beyond costs of creating the memorial and fulfilling the Kickstarter campaign is earmarked for books for the library.
“I feel like I was able to channel all this good will — all these people saying, ‘he’s a genius’ — and do something for the library,” says Brabner. “The idea of being able to turn this to a good purpose is what I find most comforting. I’m hoping the official unveiling will be around Harvey’s birthday [October 8].”
Although the Kickstarter campaign is closed, you can still contribute to the fund. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Harvey Pekar Estate, P.O. Box 18471, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118.