Drew Friedman is the great caricaturist of our age. His series of portrait books, Old Jewish Comedians, More Old Jewish Comedians, and Even More Old Jewish Comedians brought him well-deserved acclaim when they came out a few years ago. His latest book of meticulous watercolor portraits is called Heroes Of The Comics, and it includes short biographies of dozens of famous and not-famous-but-important cartoonists, editors, writers and publishers from the golden age of comics. I had no idea what many of the comic book artists I've admired for decades looked like, and it was a treat to finally see the faces of Steve Ditko (Spiderman), Dave Berg and Jack Davis (Mad), and John Stanley (Little Lulu), rendered in Friedman's detailed style, replete with liver spots, wrinkles, and rumpled clothes.
Friedman even included one villain amongst the heroes: Frederic Wertham, the psychiatrist who used flawed data to write Seduction of the Innocent, the infamous 1954 anti-comics scaremongering book that led to the end of the vibrant comic book industry and the careers of many of the heroes in the pages of Friedman's book.
Heroes Of The Comics, by Drew Friedman
Drew Friedman illustrated the cover for his brother Kipp's upcoming memoir, Barracuda In the Attic. Cartoonist Daniel Clowes calls it "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." (What a talented family! Older brother Josh Friedman wrote a great book about sleazy history of Times Square.)
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.