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Drew Friedman, Kliph Nesteroff

Schtick Figures: The Cool, the Comical, the Crazy

On sale date: July 23, 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, Arnie Kogan), musicians (B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Al Kooper, Sammy Davis, Jr., Weird Al), directors (Elaine May, Terry Zwigoff), comic book legends (Max Gaines, Bill Gaines, Kelly Freas, Ron Turner), actors (Buster Keaton, 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. 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.

The first 110 orders of Schtick Figures: The Cool, the Comical, the Crazy include an exclusive bookplate signed by the author! Order now to claim yours.


"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 Drew Friedman does it. In my social encounters with him he comes off as an attractive, un-neurotic 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. He doesn't fit the profile at all. I suspect there is another Friedman brother who is kept hidden, confined to a back bedroom, a total misfit, who actually does all the artwork. Drew takes the credit but in return he has to take care of the maladjusted, dysfunctional brother. Something like that… only thing I can figure. Someday it'll all come out, like the story of Walter Keane's wife who secretly did all the paintings of the big-eyed children." — R. Crumb

"I've always been a huge fan of the work of Drew Friedman, the king of the 'warts and all' school of caricature art. And I've been waiting my entire life to get old, decrepit, and craggy enough to merit a Friedman portrait of my own — hurray!" — "Weird Al" Yankovic


9.3" × 12.8"