We’ve seen a lot of Kickstarter campaigns lately that are aimed at helping independent filmmakers work outside the usual studio system—which is great and all, but it’s about time Kickstarter got back to what it was intended for: helping people build awesome statues. So we're happy to report that the same grassroots fundraising that successfully paved the way toward getting Detroit their RoboCop is now being used to create a monument to another icon of the industrial wasteland, comics artist Harvey Pekar, this one inside the Cleveland Heights Public Library where Pekar occasionally liked to work.
The monument, a slightly more scaled-down version of an idea first floated last year, involves creating the Harvey Pekar Comics As Art And Literature Memorial, a library desk filled with papers and pencils for others to create their own comics, as well as a middle drawer where librarians will store American Splendor memorabilia, as well as books that Pekar found inspirational. Mounted on the desk will be a large bronze cast of a comic book page that has Pekar stepping out of one of the panels. On the back will be slate storyboards, where visitors can use chalk to create their own comic stories. (Or just doodle wieners, like you know some kids are going to—but artistic expression is artistic expression.)
Right now donations for the project are just under $700, far short of the ultimate $30,000 goal, but Pekar’s widow Joyce Brabner is offering some pretty good rewards to spark fan support—including music from Pekar’s personal collection, lunch and/or a coffee date with some of the people in Pekar’s life (They’ll even buy you an orange soda!), a phone call from Joyce (“so long as you’re moderately civil”), and one of two outfits worn by either Pekar or Paul Giamatti in the American Splendor movie. "First to pledge gets first pick," it says, so if you're hoping to get the one that still has a soupçon of Giamatti, you should get moving.