From underground comix to Oscar nominations: Terry Zwigoff's career celebrated in new Drew Friedman portrait

The amazing Drew Friedman, author and illustrator of many of my favorite books, including Old Jewish Comedians, Heroes of the ComicsMore Heroes of the Comics, and  Maverix and Lunatix: Icons of Underground Comix, just released a new fine art print in an edition of 10 of director and musician Terry Zwigoff, best known for directing the documentary Crumb.

From Drew's website:

Before hitting his cinematic stride, filmmaker Terry Zwigoff paid his dues as a shipping clerk, printer, welfare office worker, and underground comix publisher. He also played cello in his cartooning friend R. Crumb's Cheap Suit Serenaders band, and in the 1980s wrote a regular column offering advice to the lovelorn for Crumb's Weirdo magazine.

Zwigoff's first film was an hour-long documentary titled Louie Bluie (1985), about blues and string musician Howard Armstrong. His follow-up — nine years in the making — was worth waiting for. Crumb (1994) was a celebrated chronicle of R. Crumb and the cartooning legend's dysfunctional family. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and earned citations and accolades from the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics and the Directors Guild of America. It became the third highest-grossing documentary of all time.

Zwigoff's next film was an adaption of Daniel Clowes's graphic novel Ghost World (2001), which became an arthouse hit and landed on over 150 Ten Best Films lists. Zwigoff and co-screenwriter Clowes were both nominated for Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay. His subsequent films were the Billy Bob Thornton black comedy Bad Santa(2003) and Art School Confidential (2006), adapted from Clowes' graphic novel.

In 2021 Zwigoff was interviewed on Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast. They discussed clueless focus groups, misbehaving movie stars, tacked-on happy endings, the comedy stylings of Margaret Dumont — and Drew Friedman! The episode can be heard here.