Saturday, September 25, 2004

"Money is the driving force in my life": chats with Harvey Pekar about, well, money -- and his relative lack of it:

"Pekar made $100,000 for his involvement in the film American Splendor — he acted a bit, did voice-over narration and consulted on the script. Shrewdly, he took payment in two installments, the first in December 2003 and second in January of this year, to ease the tax hit. He'll devote most of the proceeds to his 16-year-old daughter Danielle's education. Right now, she's home-schooled by Joyce, and is already taking art classes at Cuyahoga Community College.

"As for steady income, there isn't much. Pekar retired from the VA hospital in 2001, and earns $20,000 a year from his government pension. He receives an additional $10,000 a year (and will for the next five years or so, he says) from an annuity bought almost 20 years ago. When he becomes eligible for Social Security, he expects to collect only a few thousand dollars a year. 'That doesn't support me and my wife and my kid: $30,000 a year is not a lot of money, even here [in Cleveland],' he says. 'I mean, you can barely make it on that.'"