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Bow unleashes pic’s nerd ‘Splendor’

Pekar pic brings out the geek in celebs

Preemgoers celebrated the geek within following the Aug. 12 Gotham bow for “American Splendor.”

“I’ve been picked on, I’ve been harassed,” said self-proclaimed nerd Toby Radloff at the Eyebeam Studio after-bash for the film, adapted from his friend Harvey Pekar‘s autobiographical comicbooks. “But I’ve learned how to overcome this fear and be proud of who I am.”

Pekar portrayer Paul Giamatti confessed to being a comicbook geek during college, though he preferred superheroes to “Splendor.”

Even high-profile hosts HBO Films and Fine Line showed they knew what it’s like to be squares, peppering the post-screening party with relics of Pekar’s life: obscure records, 1970s beige-and-brown-striped couches and trash strewn about, plus literally square White Castle cheeseburgers.

“I think everyone deep down has some nerd qualities,” said Judah Friedlander, who plays Radloff on the bigscreen.

Amidst glamorous guests Gretchen Mol, Sean Astin, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosie Perez and John Cameron Mitchell, the ultimate outsider was Pekar himself.

“The movie’s gotta get me work,” said Pekar, desperate for writing gigs. “I’m looking to try and pick up another $10,000-$12,000 a year.”