Cleveland, Ohio – Must Read

American Splendor – by Harvey Pekar.

This series is incredibly well known, and well worth reading (if you haven’t already). Harvey Pekar is the probably the most famous file clerk/jazz conniusseur/comic book writer in the world, and he is Cleveland’s curmudgeon laureate.

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d.a.levy & the mimeograph revolution – Ingrid Swanberg & Larry Smith.

d.a. levy was born and lived in Cleveland, and he is considered by some to be the grandfather of the zine. He self-published his own works and the works of others in mimeographed leaflets and pamphlets that were distributed throughout the city, and this book carefully compiles that ephemera.

Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis.

Many cities have claimed to be the basis of Lewis’s fictional city of Zenith, but he meant it to stand for any growing midwestern city. The passages detailing Zenith’s growth dovetail nicely with Cleveland’s history, and it’s a fascinating look back to the days when the rustbelt cities of the Midwest were growing things with no limit in sight and few worries about the future.

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