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Drew Friedman, Kliph Nesteroff

Schtick Figures: The Cool, the Comical, the Crazy

On sale date: June 11, 2024

A new collection of portraits of cultural legends from the only cartoonist to have graced the covers of both New Yorker and Mad magazine, and seemingly everything in between.

For years, acclaimed artist Drew Friedman has chronicled an oddball, alternate history of American pop culture, where forgotten character actors, old Jewish comedians, comic book artists, and liver-spotted elevator operators are afforded the spotlight over Hollywood starlets and heartthrobs. This latest collection showcases a wide range of recent color and black-and-white portraits of comedians (Gilbert Gottfried, Groucho Marx, Selma Diamond, Moms Mabley, Brother Theodore), writers (Kurt Vonnegut, Alan Zwiebel, Bruce Jay Friedman, Arnie Kogan), musicians (B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Al Kooper, Sammy Davis, Jr., Weird Al), directors (Buster Keaton, Elaine May, Terry Zwigoff), comic book legends (Max Gaines, Bill Gaines, Kelly Freas, Ron Turner), actors (Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr, Rondo Hatton, Peter Falk) and other famous, infamous, and not-so-famous human beings that Friedman has drawn inspiration from over his lifetime.

In addition to over 100 full-page images, this collection features a foreword by historian of comedy Kliph Nesteroff, a glossary of brief biographical information on each subject by the author, as well as the never-before-collected eight-page comic strip, "R. Crumb and Me," detailing Friedman's intense relationship to the work of the cartoonist he cites as his greatest inspiration of all. Shtick Figures is a must have for fans of Friedman's inimitable talent and sharp curatorial eye for preserving lesser known but worthy tributaries of all aspects of American culture, high and low.


"Friedman's illustrations capture the most fascinating corners, blind alleys, and cul-de-sacs of show business — and the brilliant, weird, one-of-a-kind geniuses who dwell there. Their dark, self-made worlds seem so much happier than ours, and Friedman captures that joy with every pen stroke." — Patton Oswalt

"I don't know how Friedman does it. In my social encounters with him he comes off as an attractive, unneurotic man whom you wouldn't imagine could produce the quality of detailed, intensely focused, and expressive art that he has turned out in his life." — R. Crumb


9" × 12.5"