Joyce Brabner has launched a project to honor her late husband Harvey Pekar with a statue at the Cleveland Heights Public Library, which he loved. Created by sculptor Justin Coulter, the bronze statue will be mounted on a desk, with Harvey Pekar emerging from a comic book panel, while the reverse side will have panels on which participants can draw their own comics. The desk will always be supplied with writing materials and art supplies.

Noted Joyce Brabner, "Harvey always felt that comics were modern art and literature, and he loved the Cleveland Heights Library. This is especially for people who are using their library cards instead of credit cards to manage tough times - and to encourage creativity. Inside the desk we'll also put things like some of the books Harvey read that opened his eyes, and got him interested in writing, music and a wider world. The installation will celebrate comics as a medium, with any money left over to be used to add graphic novels to the library's collection. We've made a good start. We offer rewards for pledges. It would be great if we could get the rest of the amount needed to fund the project. Every little bit helps!"

Just as Harvey Pekar wrote about his own life in his comics, he thought that anyone could do the same. He was known to say, "Comics are words and pictures. You can make anything you want with words and pictures. Anybody's life story is potentially the source of a great novel, comic book or movie."

Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, directors of the acclaimed HBO Films/Fineline feature film American Splendor, which was based on Harvey Pekar's work, said, "A desk in a Cleveland library - we can't think of a more fitting and quintessentially Pekaresque way to pay tribute to Harvey. Here's hoping these items serve the next poet laureate of the ordinary."

The project is being funded by private donors and has a deadline of Monday, Dec. 5 at midnight. For more information on the project: CLICK HERE

B. Alan Orange