12:49pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Harvey Pekar's Final Comics to See Print in 'Tales of the Music Makers'
Two previously unpublished stories from American Splendor creator Harvey Pekar will see the light of day for the first time next month as part of Tales of the Music Makers, a new graphic novel from Z2 Comics that showcases the work of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, accompanied by a downloadable soundtrack featuring recordings made by the foundation throughout its 25-year history.
The two stories will mark the first work from Pekar since 2010, following the posthumously published "Harvey Pekar Meets The Thing," from Marvel Entertainment. The writer and music critic died July 12, 2010.
Tim Duffy, who founded Music Maker, said in a statement, "Harvey was a huge fan of the underdog and the working class, so creating the comics for Music Maker made perfect sense to him. In a single page Harvey could capture the essence and complexity of these musician's lives and he understood them because he loved the working class and was working class himself. To me, Harvey was the absolute greatest of underground comic storytellers of his generation — for his last comics to be about Music Maker artists Preston Fulp and Willa Mae Buckner still blows my mind to this day."
Other comics in the anthology include the stories of blues guitarist Guitar Gabriel, Etta Baker, Robert Finley, gospel trio the Como Mamas and Taj Mahal, who sits on the advisory board of the Music Maker Relief Foundation. The soundtrack will include music by the Como Mamas, Guitar Gabriel, Cora Mae Bryant and many more.
"Harvey Pekar's Cleveland was the first book we ever published," Z2 Comics co-publisher Josh Frankel added. "It's both an honor and a pleasure to be coming full circle with Tales of the Music Makers. The majority of the book is by the ever talented Gary Dumm, but it's a thrill to have these new stories by Harvey, especially as they are part of an ambitious project dedicated to educating people about the legacy of Southern musicians and the mission of the Music Maker Foundation."
The book will be released Feb. 12.