Feb 23, 2021

Wedding ring, sesquipedalian and... Harvey Pekar

Below, transcript excerpts from a video chat that Moore did in 2012 with the contributors of Harvey Pekar statue. The video is available HERE.
    "[What's] on my left hand?" [...] the one on my left hand is my, my lovely wedding ring, that I designed myself on the back of a receipt. I'd originally asked for one big vulgar opal that I could show off to everybody but they could only get me two tear-shaped ones and then they couldn't figure out how to work them into a coherent design so I did the... the caduceus there.

    "What's my current favourite word?" Sesquipedalian, because it's one of those few words which refers to itself. What it actually means is having a fondness for obscure and difficult words. So, sesquipedalian, that's my, my word for today.

[...]    "You said that the work of Harvey Pekar was very important for you, but it looks very different from your work, so he talks about his life while your stories are about heroes, magic, historical characters. What is the link between you and Pekar's work?
Well there's a few incredibly strong links. Um... for one thing, Harvey Pekar is one of the very very few blue collar talents in the comic book field. Um, this is not to say that, er, people from the middle classes don't do wonderful comics, of course they do; but my own personal background is very much rooted in the English working classes, and something about Harvey's perspective always rang so true to me; er, that the sincerity, the honesty of it, the, the crystalline honesty of it that was as clear as water - that, these were all things that impressed me immensely, that he was able to talk about working class life with such a lucid voice. And, the other thing, um, would be Harvey's attachment to the location in which he lived; his love of Cleveland, for the ground upon which he was standing, which could be anywhere. It could be Northampton, it could be the places that, that you all live. We should value the, the humble streets and boulevards an' houses that surround us. They won't be there forever, and they have incredible histories tied into them. Um, we should value them, we should protect them, and we should celebrate them in the way that, that Harvey did - just the ordinary human lives that are going on in these places. I think that, for my part I want to celebrate the same things as Harvey, but Harvey's voice was not mine. Um, we've got distinctive voices, and for my part I would rather do something like Jerusalem, where there is an incredible amount of autobiographical stuff in it; although I'm dressed up so that nobody re-recognises me. This is an old trick of mine as anybody who read Big Numbers would be painfully aware. You know, I like to appear in drag, um, so as not to disrupt the narrative, but, yeah, so there's, there's autobiographical stuff about me, about my family, and about the - more importantly about the history of the neighbourhood in which I grew up. Um, it's expressed in terms of fiction. It's got all of the, the usual extravagant fictional devices that people might have come to expect of me so it's got a few monsters 'n' things like that in - no superheroes or at least not yet. I'm a few chapters away from the end so I suppose anything could happen, but, yeah, it's, it's that level that I connected with Harvey upon the most, that his... love and tender observations of ordinary human life, as it is lived for by far the, the largest section of the population, and for the, the town, the environment around him. That is the level on which Harvey's work probably spoke to me most profoundly.

More info HERE, HERE and HERE.

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