This Thursday, April 24th, the Society of Illustrators will host an evening so fun you're sure to plotz!
Get off your tuches andcatch the panel discussion From the Borscht Belt to Seinfeld: The Evolution of Jewish American Comedy, and learn more about how Jewish humor grew out of Yiddish culture, defined New York City's character in the early 20th century, and filtered into our American culture, literature, art, film and television from the 1950's to the present.
The event runs from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Panelists include our own Drew Friedman, who will be joined by Edward Portnoy, Ph.D, Yiddish language, literature and theater expert who will serve as moderator; Larry Storch, renowned vaudeville, film and TV comedian; Bill Persky, legendary TV sitcom writer; and Tom Leopold, contemporary sketch comedy writer.
A question-and-answer session will follow the panelists' presentations. Shmooze withDrew and Larry afterwards as they sign copies of the Old Jewish Comedians trilogy and limited edition exhibit poster!
"This is the cover to my upcoming book HEROES of THE COMICS, designed by the great Jesse Marinoff Reyes. The book comes out in early July and officially debuts at the San Diego Comic Con."
We got a great response to the preliminary cover we showed with Drew's portrait of Siegel & Shuster, but we went with the King, and for good reason, as you can see. Don't worry, Jerry & Joe are still inside the book, along with dozens and dozens more of the titans and pioneers of American comics, all gorgeously and expressively rendered, and accompanied by loving and informative essays by Drew. No comics lover's coffee table will be complete without this beautiful, oversized hardcover.
"Drew Friedman isn't just a brilliant artist. He takes you to a place. He takes you back in time. He makes you smell the stale cigarettes and cold brisket and you say, thank you for the pleasure." -- Sarah Silverman
Young and old -- you don't wanna miss this exhibit of original work from Drew Friedman! Starting Wednesday, March 5th, The Society of Illustrators is proud to present a two-floor gallery show of Old Jewish Comedians, showcasing Friedman's original artwork from all three books, as well as early rough sketches and additional Jewish comedian-related art created by Friedman for book, print and DVD covers.
Short biographies of each comedian will accompany each portrait. This will represent the most comprehensive display of original Drew Friedman artwork to date, containing over 110 illustrations. Also on display will be rare Jewish comedian ephemera from Friedman's personal collection, including books, records, sheet music, advertisements, brochures, toys, games, buttons, cigar boxes, shoe laces, playing cards, magazines and comic books, some featuring art by the most popular illustrators of their day.
The Old Jewish Comedians books came about when Monte Beauchamp -- editor and designer of the comics & illustration anthology BLAB! -- asked Friedman to create a book for his line of BLAB! storybooks. When Friedman was asked what he'd most like to draw, he thought: "What do I enjoy drawing the most… old people, Jews and comedians. Bingo!... Old Jewish Comedians!" Beauchamp, who curated the recent wildly successful Robert Crumb and Harvey Kurtzman shows for the Society of Illustrators, will be curating the Old Jewish Comedian show.
All three Old Jewish Comedians volumes will be on sale at the Society of illustrators in a new bound volume created exclusively for the show. Expect to see several of the legendary Jewish comedians at the opening celebration!
The Society of Illustrators is located at 128 East 63rd Street. This glorious celebration of comedians will be on exhibit through May 3, 2014.
224-page color/black & white 7.5" x 11" hardcover • $34.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-747-5
This is the definitive account of the boldest and most audacious of the legendary underground cartoonists: the taboo busting, eyeball blistering S. Clay Wilson. This first volume contains all of his underground comic stories from ZAP Comix, Snatch, Gothic Blimp Works, Bogeyman, Felch, Insect Fear, Pork, Tales of Sex and Death, and Arcade magazine as well as the many adventures of the Checkered Demon, Star-Eyed Stella, and Captain Pissgums, and even his earliest collaborations with William Burroughs. Also: selections from his teenaged and college years, both in comics and painting form. First person accounts from his peers, as well as Wilson’s own words, offer a revealing portrait of the artist who hid his shyness behind brash behavior and bluster. This first of a three-volume biography and retrospective gets to the heart and soul of an artist who lived his dreams and his nightmares.
160-page full-color 9" x 12" hardcover • $34.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-731-4
Featuring approximately 75 full-color portraits of the pioneering legends of American comic books, including publishers, editors, and artists from the industry's birth in the '30s, through the brilliant artists and writers behind EC Comics in the ’50s. All lovingly rendered and chosen by Drew Friedman, a cartooning legend in his own right. Featuring subjects popular and obscure, men and women, as well as several pioneering African-American artists. Each subject features a short essay by Friedman, who grew up knowing many of the subjects included (as the son of writer Bruce Jay Friedman), including Stan Lee, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, Mort Drucker, Al Jaffee, Jack Davis, Will Elder, and Bill Gaines. More names you might recognize: Barks, Crumb, Wood, Wolverton, Frazetta, Siegel & Shuster, Kirby, Cole, Ditko, Wertham... it’s a Hall of Fame of comic book history from the man Boing Boing calls "America’s greatest living portrait artist!"
(Note that the final cover art will feature Drew's portrait of Jack Kirby, rather than Siegel & Shuster as shown here.)
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
"Collecting 10 years' worth of cartoons originally done for Reason magazine, as well as a few odds and sods, [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me] finds Bagge as sharp and irate as ever, and his art has improved while still being recognizably his own. Bagge is also, thankfully, still possessed of a great sense of humor, especially about himself-even the title reveals an element of self-mockery among all the self-righteousness." - The A.V. Club
"While his focus may have changed, his work remains as delightful as it did in the alt-comix heyday. Stupid just confirms what many of us already knew: he's still one of the funniest cartoonists in America today." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
208-page black & white 6" x 8.5" hardcover • $26.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-650-8
"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
"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
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.
It's our great pleasure to add another member of the fabulous Friedman family to our roster. Kipp Friedman's forthcoming memoir Barracuda in the Attic boasts this loving portrait by Kipp's big brother Drew (with hand-lettering by our own Jacob Covey), a foreword by father Bruce Jay and an afterword by brother Josh. In the book's pages you'll find true tales of the colorful clan's hijinks from New York to Hollywood and beyond, hobnobbing with the literati, mobsters, and at least one Marx brother.
We're taking pre-orders now; look for the book to hit shelves in early Fall, and if you know us you know we have more previews and sneak peeks on the way.
The coldest Dip'n'Dots of Online Commentaries & Marketing:
• Interview: Comic Book Resources and Alex Dueben interview Peter Bagge about Other Stuff and his favorite collaborations in the book, "The earliest one in the book, "Life in These United States," didn't come out looking at all like I had envisioned it…what Clowes did with it was truly remarkable. Also, Gilbert [Hernandez] radically changed the faces, ages and even genders of almost everyone in the "Me" strip. That threw me for a loop! Though it didn't negatively impact the story in the slightest."
• Review:The A.V. Club looks at Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. "Other Stuff also brings together strips Bagge has written about rock icons, along with a few cartoon essays, and strips featuring his characters Lovey and The Leeways, who respectively represent hipster adventurism and dogged domesticity. It’s a full picture of who Bagge has been as an artist and humorist over the past 20 years, and as such is as valuable for newcomers as fans…" writes Noel Murray.
• Interview:Peter Bagge is interviewed on Societe Perrierby Christian J Petersen on comics, Seattle and growing up clever. "Did your parents encourage your creativity? No, though they didn't discourage it. They were drunk."
• Review:The Quietus looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert and Pierre Bartier. Aug Stone writes, "Jodelle is fantastic in every sense of the word, filled with in-jokes and time-defying references, nudity and sex (not always coinciding), exaggerated violence, but most importantly a sense of pushing the edges of possibility…The original Pop Art comic and one of the first ‘adult comics’ (released a year after Barbarella by same publisher Eric Losfeld), Jodelle is an artistic tour de force."
• Review: Bookgasm looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "…let the fleshy neon visuals explode into your eyeballs.…It won’t have the same impact today, as many of its visual ideas have been appropriated and subverted into the mainstream culture, but as both a time capsule of its era and as a visually stunning romp, it remains a unique experience that should certainly be at least sampled by any adventurous modern reader of comics. Playfully provocative, funny and smart, THE ADVENTURES OF JODELLE pops with a soft-lined splash of lurid color," writes JT Lindroos.
• Review: It's Nice That and look at The Adventures of Jodelle. "Peellaert was every bit the master of his craft and with enviable vision and flair managed to transform a previously safe medium into something exciting and dangerous…It’s intoxicating stuff!" exclaims James Cartwright.
• Interview:HeroesOnline and Seth Peagler interview Ed Piskor about comics, music and Hip Hop Family Tree. Piskor states, "There were some interesting things to look at while writing the book. It’s necessary to know the political/economic climate at the time. The fine art scene plays an integral role in the development of early Hip Hop as well, which many people might not know. If it wasn’t for the downtown scene gravitating toward graffiti culture it could have all died out in the early 80s."
• Review:I Reads You reads Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. Leroy Douresseaux writes, "This publishing format is designed to appeal to the people who decide what will make the shelves of bookstores.…this is another volume of New Stories which proves that Love and Rockets is as strong as ever and is ready for 30 more great years."
• Review:Kotaku's roundtable discuss what they did and didn't like about Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez. Evan Narcisse posits "I did like how the family lived on the fringes of the 20th Century. It reminded me A LOT of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' 100 Years of Solitude. The weird almost-incest, characters with the same names and weird proclivities, home-as-a-black-hole-you-can't-escape, the outside world as an exotic dangerous place, nature as this karmic equalizer …"
• Interview: Nicole Rudick of The Comics Journal interviews James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook about 7 Miles A Second and their creative life together. James mentions, "…it is about empathy, the only thing we have that allows us to touch each other. So if there’s anything positive to be taken out of the book, it’s that we should be working toward a more empathetic experience while we’re on the planet."
• Review:Comic Book Resources looks at 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson. "It’s interesting seeing how different some of the artwork is – Williamson liked science fiction, apparently, and was occasionally bored with the other stories William Gaines or Al Feldstein gave him, but there’s no story here that doesn’t at least offer something sublime…Fantagraphics has done a really nice job bringing a lot of the 1940s/1950s stuff back into print, and if they keep picking such cool stuff like this, I’ll just have to keep buying it!" exclaims Greg Burgas.
• Review:Spectrum Culture looks at'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Davis was a phenomenal draftsman whose dynamic line work could imbue even static scenes with restless energy, and whose clean but detailed layouts could bring to life queasiness-inducing tableaux of rotting corpses and piled intestines…Al Feldstein and Carl Wessler wrote the lion’s share of these tales and had a knack for mixing cruel irony and creeping dread.…EC has been gone for decades now, but volumes like this help ensure that its influence won’t be forgotten." writes David Maine.
• Review:The Portland Mercury on Dash Shaw's New School. "The experience of reading New School is like temporarily inhabiting the body and brain of an artist: This is what growing up might feel like for someone who lives and breathes colors and shapes," writes Allison Hallett. "It's heady, hallucinatory, and bizarre, but it's grounded in the simple experience of growing up in the shadow of a beloved older sibling."
• Interview: Societe Perrier by Christian J Petersen interview Johnny Ryan. "You seem to be exploring a darkside in your work but you soften the blow with humor. What would your real darkside look like?Prison Pit. "
• Plug: Duckburg Weekly looks at Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death ValleyandMickey Mouse Volume 2: Trapped on Treasure Island by Floyd Gottfredson. "With Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Classic Collection Fantagraphics Books published a must-have for everyone who's interested in early works of the Walt Disney Company!…[Vol. 1]offers amazing articles about the 'birth' of Mickey Mouse, bonus panels which were never published and different artists in the spotlight (such as Al Taliaferro and Jack King)…Again [in Vol. 2] there is a chapter with incredible bonus material which informs about the villains, Floyd's colleagues and additional comic strips."
• Interview:It's Nice That and James Cartwright interviewed Anders Nilsen about The End, coming out in print this fall. "…some of it is pretty raw, and that’s how I felt at the time. Some of it is funny, too, I think, which is also part of the experience. It can feel very absurd at times. If it feels like a crazy emotional roller coaster to read, then it’s doing the job."
• Review:The Comics Journal reviewed the Kolor Klimaxanothology, edited by Matthias Wivel. Robert Kirby writes, "I found myself drawn back to each several times…That, for me, is the common vibe generated by this and other Euro-comics anthologies: the sense of possibility and novelty that comes from having available a whole new frontier of previously hard-to-come-by alt-comics by accomplished artists to explore. Comics speak a universal, intuitive language, but this 'Nordic Hypnotica' opens Americans up to previously unfamiliar dialects that are a pleasure to read, enjoy, and occasionally decode."
• Review:Kitty Sneezes looks at Drew and Josh Alan Friedman'sAny Similarity to Persons Living or Dead is Purely Coincidental. "Shemp acts both as a beacon of Drew Friedman's amazing artistic skill, but also as a signpost of what you'll find.…strips starring the semi-forgotten figures of old media. Figures like Abbott & Costello, Chet Huntley, Joe Franklin or Tor Johnson come up frequently. I especially love the Tor strips. And usually, though there's a surrealist bent like you'd find in the work of Michael Kupperman, there's usually a sense of love for the work of these people" writes Rev. Syung Myung Me.