If you're not a bookseller or librarian, skip this post, but the new issue of Booklist is the annual spotlight on graphic fiction, and there's some very useful stuff for those building a core collection of GNs. The issue includes an interview with James Sturm, an "honor roll of female pioneers" in comics, and a look back at a lifetime reading "the Funnies" courtesy columnist Michael Cart. There are a number of top 10 lists, reviews, etc. as well.
"THE FUN NEVER STOPS!" WITH DREW FRIEDMAN AT FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKSTORE & GALLERY IN SEATTLE, OPENING MARCH 27.
Drew Friedman is among the most notorious illustrators and cartoonists in America. According to Entertainment Weekly, “He holds a marvelously warped lens up to crusty politicians and debauched celebrities. A good-natured misanthrope with an obsessive style and a sardonic tongue, Drew Friedman is one of the country’s sharper political artists.” Friedman will appear in Seattle for the first time at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery for a book signing and exhibition of his original artwork on Thursday, March 27 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM.
“The Fun Never Stops!” exhibition features 17 portraits meticulously rendered in Friedman’s singular style. Included are political figures such as “McCain as Popeye,” “John Kerry’s Inauguration,” and “Really Rich Rudy” as well as pop culture icons like Frank Sinatra, Woody Allen, and Alfred E. Newman. In addition, Fantagraphics Books produced a limited edition silkscreen print featuring George W. Bush as Slim Pickens in the apocalyptic finale to “Dr. Strangelove.” Friedman’s portraits are alternately savage satires or reverential renderings – and frequently both, as in his series of “Old Jewish Comedians,” recently published in two volumes by Fantagraphics Books.
“The Fun Never Stops!” begins with a reception for the artist on Thursday, March 27 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Admission is free to the public of all ages. The exhibition continues though May 6, 2008. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at the corner of Airport Way S.) in Seattle’s historic Georgetown industrial arts district. Open daily 11:30 until 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: 206.658.0110.
DREW FRIEDMAN: THE FUN NEVER STOPS! March 27 – May 6, 2008. Opening Reception and Book signing Thursday, March 27, 5:00 – 8:00 PM
You may or may not be aware that last week Fantagraphics co-sponsored a "bookwarming" party for Drew Friedman at NYC's exclusive Friars Club, on the occasion of the release of More Old Jewish Comedians from Fanta. I say you might not be because it was a private affair by invitation only, so it wasn't publicized in advance, although you may have seen some of the "postgame" coverage. Despite it being a private affair, by all accounts it was one of the most successful events the Club has ever thrown, with an estimated 400 people cramming into the Milton Berle Room and joining a cavalcade of comedy legends in honoring Drew, including Mickey Freeman, Freddie Roman, Jerry Stiller, Gilbert Gottfried, Jeffrey Ross, Joe Franklin, Larry Storch and others.
We should be getting a slew of pics that we'll upload soon into a Flickr set, but in the meantime, don't miss these great write-ups (with photos):
Drew Friedman is, along with Daniel Clowes and Chester Brown, one of the primary reasons I am working in comics today and didn't abandon my juvenile love for the medium long after most boys have discovered girls and sports. So when we decided to start conducting some exclusive author interviews for Flog!, it didn't take me long to decide I really wanted to spotlight Drew, especially as we are on the cusp of releasing his new book, MORE OLD JEWISH COMEDIANS. It's astounding to me that throughout much of the 1990s and earlier part of this decade, there was a new generation of comics fans who weren't so familiar with Drew's work as those of us who came of age in 1980s and early 1990s, as Drew somewhat slipped out of the comics field to focus on other pursuits. But he was a powerful influence on me in my formative years, between his work for Topps, Raw Magazine and National Lampoon. His two early Fantagraphics collections, WARTS AND ALL and ANY SIMILARITIES TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL were two of the very earliest Fantagraphics collections I ever purchased, and remain two of my favorites. The latter is where I first discovered his strip "The Andy Griffith Show," which was easily the greatest comic strip I'd ever read at the time. I remember getting an argument with my then-girlfriend over whether the strip was brilliant satire or blatantly racist -- it was no surprise we didn't last. In his excellent introduction to THE FUN NEVER STOPS!, Clowes describes this strip as "more 'real' and truthful than any biographical comic or self-revelatory memoir... the connection I felt is like nothing I have experienced since." I couldn't agree more. Same goes for Clowes' statement that "a Friedman caricature looks more like its subject than any photograph possibly could."
Thankfully, you don't have to take our word for it: the last two years have seen the release of not one, or two, but three new Friedman books, introducing his masterful cartooning and riotous satire to a new generation of comics fans, and thankfully Drew was gracious enough to answer some questions for Flog! readers.