"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.
• San Francisco, CA: Remember I See What You Say: Visual Stories and Narrative Art, that dreamy exhibit I told you about featuring work by Lilli Carré and Mome-veteran Eleanor Davis? Well, today they'll be holding their public reception at the Cartoon Art Museum, and while Lilli and Eleanor won't be there themselves, it's a fun chance to see their work while meeting lots of other nice artists and writers, like Lemony Snicket! (more info)
MoCCA was a BLAST, as usual. PR Director, Jacq Cohen, and I showed up early on Friday to set up the table. People couldn't wait for Saturday, clumping around the new books. Our two newest EC Comics Library releases featuring Al Williamson and Jack Davis' work are creating a heartbreakingly beautiful rainbow.
One side of the set-up table!
Friday night was Dash Shaw's opening for his New School art exhibition and 30th birthday at Desert Island. His fianceé (sorry, ladies and germs) made a cake that was uber-delicious. Below, Dash talks about his new comics.
Party hardy, Gabrielle Bell is talking to Ariel Shrag (!) in the left-hand corner.
A gentleman was purchasing Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez at Desert Island so we had to compliment him on his exquisite taste. Lo and behold, Tony (or so he says) showed up at MoCCA the next day ready to buy more quality comics, this time Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley. My mom would be so proud that I'm still somewhat polite!
I ran into a familiar face, cartoonist and animation intern Andrew Greenstone, who was more than willing to hang out and shot the shit---I mean, talk business.
If I ever become a comic book store owner, I hope I'm as cool as Gabe Fowler. The red print was a Desert Island exclusive!
Cartoonist Charles Burns showed up to hang out with friends and look at comics. I never ever tire of that man's company, but he did mention some people are reticent to eat with him because of what he draws in his comics. FOOLS, I say! Also, Evan Dorkin makes Chris Duffy guffaw in the background. Doesn't "Griffith, Dorkin, Duffy and Burns" sound like an amazing lawfirm? Like possibly corrupt but they probably have a pastry chef on staff to appease their clients?
Also signing at MoCCA was Kim Deitch, whose new book The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley is coming out soon and is haunting, to put it mildly. Deitch brought his original pages which fans poured over. James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook made their Fantagraphics signing debut for 7 Miles a Second, the moving comic written by David Wojnarowicz. The book has one of those covers that is both oblique and arresting (Jacq adds up some quick math on the right). While I did not stop a child from picking up the book, I did tell a parent or two it had adult material in it. One of my favorite sells of the weekend was selling Prison Pit Book Two to a 14 year old kid whose mom seemed dubious until I brought up the philosophy behind the book. The teen gave me a giant wink as he left, he might not get it still.
Van Cook discussed innovative printing techniques from their travels and non-profit advice while James would sketch in signed copies of the book.
Recently, Alex Dueben talked to Romberger for Comic Book Resources and stopped to meet them in person.
Next up was Leslie and Dash! Local cartoonist Leslie Stein is also in a pretty crazy fun band, Prince Rupert's Drops. If you live in the New York area, check them out. The rest of us will just live via our headphones or listening to their tracks on the recent AudioFemme interview. Leslie signed my old copy of Eye of the Majestic Creatureand we talked about second book that's coming out this fall! I heard some comments from other cartoonists that they feel weird about asking fellow toonies to sign their books but I don't give a humdinkle about that. Make it FANCY for me.
Dash signed the spine of many a Bottomless Belly Button and cover of 3 New Stories for eager fans. Those gorgeous red prints (you can only see a quarter of it) are available from Desert Island if you are looking for something for the Shaw fan who 'has it all.'
Given our close proximity to the stairs to the bathroom, there wasn't much chance for wondering down aisles or buying comics. I really wanted to read L. Nichols' Flocks and she was helpful enough to COME TO ME with her Square for my plastic purchase.
Tucker Stone, of TCJ and Bergen Street Comics, came by to get Gary's signature on a copy of The Comics Journal. Pretty cute, right?
Jacq and me with two of our debut books by Ulli Lust and Gilbert Hernandez! Photo by Dre Grigoropol.
Hung with bossman Gary Groth, Dash, Leslie and Jacq one night.
Charles Forsman was out and about with his Oily Comics micropublishing outfit. Chuck's comic, The End of the Fucking World, will be out this July from Fantagraphics in one single beautiful book. I'm so excited about that. We in no way support NCIS.
Chuck and I go way back, we used to work at the same graphic novel library together in Vermont. A photo from 2009:
Speaking of libraries, the next day Tom Spurgeon and I visited Columbia University's Butler Library and Rare Book room, led around by enthusiastic librarian Karen Green. It was so very cool to see our books with library binding but they've also perfected a myler binding so we don't lose those cool spine designs. Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button and Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo.
Kim, I didn't forget about you, the library has a lot of Jacques Tardi books. Some were checked out, which is even better than finding them at the library.
A grand place I hope to visit again. Thanks to Anelle Miller and her trusty band of volunteers for the enjoyable convention, Gary and Jacq for booth help plus a few of these photos. Lastly, another one of my favorite moments of the week was selling Dungeon Quest Book One to a gentleman on Saturday who came back Sunday to buy the other two after reading the first in one sitting. It was a cherry on top of an awesome convention.
We've always known Peter had excellent taste -- as we've mentioned before on the FLOG, Peter once collaborated with our own Michael Kupperman, and has long been a hugefan of his on Twitter. So, I suppose we shouldn't have been surprised at all to see him tweet this the other day:
One of my favorite comedians meets one of my favorite artists? Be still my heart!!! Do you want to be cool like Peter and own some original artwork from Drew? Well, I'm sorry, you will never be as cool as Peter. But, click this link and you can at least get some gorgeous limited-edition prints from Drew!
Host Danny Fingeroth will ask this master cartoonist and satirist about his life and career, and Drew will unveil previews of new, unreleased work, including his "Legends of Comic Books" series!
Drew will also discuss/argue all things Old Jewish Comedians, Sideshow Freaks, comic book legends, urban legends, (Milton Berle, Danny Thomas, Billy Barty, Lester...), Shemp Howard, Joe Franklin, Abe Vigoda, Sammy Petrillo, Sophie Tucker, Tor Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, Officer Joe Bolton, Harvey Kurtzman, Dave Berg, Zagnut, Jimmy Grippo, Plonsky, etc.
Special guests to be announced, once funds are secured for their cab fares.
Tickets are $12 in advance, $17 on the day-of-show and at the door, so you should probably get yours now online at Brown Paper Tickets. This event runs from 6:30-8:30 PM. The Soho Gallery for Digital Art is located at 138 Sullivan St, between Prince & Houston.
• Vancouver, BC: Our awesome Marketing/PR/Outreach Fiend Jen Vaughn will be on an Inkstuds panel at the Vancouver Art Gallery, discussing art and tradition of comics, as well as reflecting on their own work. (As she puts it, "I'm very stoked to be talking about periods/menstruation inside a place called VAG." Haw!) She'll be joined by fellow artists Emily Carroll and Brandon Graham, with your host Robin McConnell. This event is free for museum members, and for non-members, Tuesday night are "Pay What You Can," so don't miss this! (more info)
Join these legendary artists tomorrow Tuesday, March 19th as they discuss the life and works of Harvey Kurtzman in a panel moderated by Peter Kuper. The discussion runs from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Society of Illustrators [ 128 East 63rd Street ].
And UPDATE! We've just got word that Al, Arnold, and Drew will be taking their love of Kurtzman to the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC tomorrow at 1:30 PM EST! You can listen at 93.9 FM and AM 820 in the New York City area, or streaming around the world online here.