cover illustration by Drew Friedman; introduction by Bruce Jay Friedman; afterword by Josh Alan Friedman
Whether shooting pool with the mobster Crazy Joey Gallo, attending a dinner party hosted by an aged but remarkably spry Groucho Marx, or simply playing doctor with a classmate in the former estate of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kipp Friedman led a colorful childhood. The youngest son of celebrated writer and satirist Bruce Jay Friedman, Kipp looks back fondly on the amusing and sometimes confusing events and encounters that helped shape his early life in this moving tribute to growing up among a family of creative artists — swept up in the whirlwind of the New York arts scene of the 1960s and '70s.
Follow Kipp's exploits as bystander and willing participant as he joins older brothers Josh (writer and musician) and Drew (renowned cartoonist and illustrator) as three musketeers on a youthful quest to discover the scariest low-budget horror movies along 42nd Street and Times Square. Delight in their search for classic comic books, monster magazines (and the occasional "nudie" magazine) at their beloved, dingy "Back-Issue Store" in midtown Manhattan. Encounter his family's bizarre Cold War-like relationship with their new neighbors in an updated suburban Jewish version of the Hatfields vs. the McCoys. Witness their Marx Brothers-like antics while on an all-expenses-paid junket at the Beverly Hills Hotel courtesy of CBS.
The stage shifts from New York City to the Caribbean to the suburbs of Long Island, and from the South of France to Broadway and Hollywood as Kipp retraces his family's defining moments — with the backdrop of his father's meteoric rise from editor of men's adventure magazines to successful novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. Through it all, Kipp paints a loving portrait of a childhood and family life that is both magical and yet familiar and real.
Barracuda in the Attic is truly a family affair, written by Kipp, with a cover illustration by Drew Friedman, an introduction by paterfamilias Bruce Jay Friedman, and an afterword by Josh Friedman, and is copiously illustrated with photos of the family and their literati friends and hangers-on.
"A detail-rich account of an unfathomably awesome childhood in the epicenter of 1960s - 1970s New York culture, and further evidence of the magnificence of the Friedman genes." – Daniel Clowes
"I always wanted to know what it would be like to grow up with a famous dad. It sounds as awesome as i feared. I really enjoyed reading Kipp Friedman's stories and hating him for having dinner at Groucho Marx's house." – Joel Stein, Time magazine columnist
"Barracuda in the Attic is a poignant and crackling good memoir... and this is coming from someone who doesn't like memoirs." —Ted Heller (Pocket Kings, Funnymen, Slab Rat, West of Babylon)
"If you’re wondering why graphic novel specialist Fantagraphics published a memoir by Friedman, you only have to read 'Comic Book Fever,' an essay about visiting the Jay Bee Back Issue Magazine Store and Kipp’s long-time comic book obsession. These essays about growing up in New York range from feuding with the neighbors in Great Neck, sports obsessions (including the New York Cosmos), the evolution of the horror film genre, and the family to Hollywood when Kipp’s dad, Bruce Jay Friedman, got a development deal. It wound up being not too different from the Lucy and Desi 'Don Juan' story arc. New York-philes will love the period detail, as well folks of a certain age who can sing the Gigantor television theme. But for the rest, you can still get a kick out of a trio of boisterous boys who caused a lot of havoc as they came of age." – Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
"In spite of his rarified childhood, Friedman paints a down-to-earth portrait of his family adventures. The book wonderfully captures a vanished era of Manhattan in the 1960s and 1970s." –Joe Hart, M Magazine
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