What’s a file clerk from Cleveland doing with an Oscar nomination? How did a movie about Harvey Pekar win the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival? The story begins in 1976, when Harvey began publishing his autobiographical, slice-of-downtrodden-life comic book series American Splendor, illustrated by a who’s who of underground comic artists, including R. Crumb, Kevin Brown, Greg Budgett, Sean Carroll, Sue Cavey, Gary Dumm, Val Mayerik, and Gerry Shamray. After self-publishing American Splendor for nearly two decades under less than splendid conditions (and racking impressive accolades in the process), Harvey finally got a break when Dark Horse Comics took over the publication in the early 1990s. It was an opportunity for Harvey to reach a wider audience–which, as it turned out, included a few Hollywood types, too. (Who knew?) But that’s another story. . . .