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Harvey Pekar's Teo Macero

Filmed in 2008 in a hotel room in the Lower East Side NYC and using original artwork by Joe Sacco, Harvey Pekar reads from his comic American Splendor telling the story of unknown jazz legend... Teo Macero, producer of Miles, Monk and Mingus.

In 2008 American comic book legend Harvey Pekar is filmed at a Lower East Side Side hotel reading the Teo Macero story from his American Splendor Comic. Written by Harvey and drawn by Joe Sacco (Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde) the story makes plain Harvey's love for the unsung heroes of jazz.

If you can be both legend and unsung then Teo Macero defines the terms. Producer of the 3 top selling jazz albums of all time (number one being Kind of Blue by Miles Davis) Teo worked with Miles, Mingus, Monk, Brubeck and Ellington among many others to create multimillion sellers, avant-garde oddities and avant-garde multimillion sellers. Yet he is little known outside a relatively small number of aficionados.

Arguably the most famous "comic book guy" in the world and a national treasure in the USA, Harvey was also a respected jazz critic and collector. Never missing an opportunity, Harvey boosted artists and jazz men in particular who he thought the public needed to hear about and who hadn't had a fair shake of the stick. Often the more avant-garde the better.

Harvey also deeply believed in the capacity of the comic book as a medium to be much more than a vehicle for superheroes and flights of fantasy.

Combining Harvey's inimitable reading and Joe Sacco's simply filmed artwork, Harvey Pekar's Teo Macero explores a corner of what was once the archetypal low art through the medium of an art form which more and more has aspirations above its own station.

  • Daragh McCarthy
    The Stars Are Underground
  • Harvey Pekar
    American Splendor
  • Daragh McCarthy
    The Stars Are Underground
  • Harvey Pekar
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 49 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 25, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    mini DV
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Mexico International Film Festival
    April 26, 2015
    North American Premiere
    Golden Palm Best Short Documentary
  • The Indie Gathering
    August 1, 2015
    Honourable Mention
Director Biography - Daragh McCarthy

Daragh McCarthy is a filmmaker from Dublin whose credits include the seminal 90s punk documentary The Stars are Underground and music videos for the likes of The Frames and jazz pianist Vijay Iyer and a concert film for Dutch Ethio-Punks The Ex. He is currently working on more jazz related projects including a documentary about unknown jazz legend Teo Macero, producer of the three top selling jazz albums of all time.
Daragh has also just finished a documentary about The Master Musicians of Joujouka Morocco.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

This is a short I put together using material I shot with Harvey for a documentary I am making about Jazz Producer Teo Macero. In 2008 Harvey and myself spent a few days in NYC shooting material for the doc and then shooting some more material for another jazz related project which was to feature Harvey.
Of course Harvey passed on two years later. This is a homage from me to both guys (I also spent a lot of time with Teo over the years while filming) and also an opportunity to show the incredibly incisive jazz critic that Harvey was in tandem with his comic authoring.