Harvey Pekar, the cult comic book hero and inspiration for the acclaimed film "American Splendor," has agreed to write three novels for Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Inc.

Pekar's first work for Ballantine, a "sequel of sorts" to "American Splendor," will come out this fall.

"People have been frustrated for the last 10 years or so. They've known Harvey's around, they've known he's alive, but they can't find his stuff anywhere," Pekar's wife and collaborator, Joyce Brabner, said in a statement Tuesday.

"Now, publishing with Ballantine, the work will have a much wider distribution and Harvey will find a much broader audience."

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"American Splendor" starred Paul Giamatti as Pekar and Hope Davis as his wife. The real Pekar and Brabner, along with foster daughter Danielle and some family friends, also appeared in the 2003 movie as themselves.

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