|KK-253 Despair T-shirt|
|Despair, Unused cover, 1970|
By this time Crumb had become a part of the underground comix scene and Pekar was inspired by his work. He had always wanted to do something creative, but since he did not see himself as having any artistic talent he thought the graphic novel media might work for him. He could write the stories and others could illustrate.
Pekar's "American Splendor" a self-published biographical comic book series came to light in 1976. Harvey would draw the stories with stick figures and dialog, then pass to artists like Crumb to illustrate. He wrote about his daily life in Coventry, about his neighborhood's character, about his work place and about the street corner philosophers of which he was one.