Monday, May 25, 2015

1960's Comedians for VIP magazine by Bill Utterback


Bill Utterback was hired to work in the art department of Playboy magazine in Chicago in the mid-1960's and soon began drawing in-house caricatures of various staffers. When Playboy launched VIP, (Very Important Playboys),
for members of their then-popular Playboy clubs, Bill Utterback created the B&W watercolor portraits of the musicians, singers and especially the "hip" comedians who were booked at the clubs, sometimes up to eight per issue.

Comics Jackie Curtiss, Shelley Berman, Mort Sahl
Many of his, (enlarged), portraits of performers would hang in the various Playboy clubs to promote the performer's appearences. I've blogged about the art of Bill Utterback and recently presented his work at a Society of Illustrators talk with fellow illustrator Stephen Kroninger on Forgotten Caricaturists Remembered.
http://drewfriedman.blogspot.com/2012/01/bill-utterback-in-vip-magazine.html
Since then many more of Utterback's 1960's/1970's VIP Comedian images have been unearthed thanks to my friend, pop-culture historian John Wendler. Most if not all of these wonderful silhouettees of comics, many long forgotten, haven't been seen since they were first published in VIP and even then, only by members of the Playboy Clubs. If you're seeing these for the first time, enjoy:




















Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Drew Friedman in SCREEM Magazine

The latest issue of SCREEM magazine is available, featuring my cover artwork, (images from the "Ed Wood. Jr trading cards"), and leading off with a new interview with me, conducted by the excellent pop culture journalist Thom Shubilla, who has written in the past about Tor Johnson and Buster Crabbe swimming pools.


Thom and I discuss many important and essential topics, including Ed Wood. Jr,
Bela Lugosi, Famous Monsters magazine, New York's Chiller Theatre vs Supernatural Theatre, Sammy Petrillo, Vampira, Basil Wolverton, Joe Franklin, Howard Stern, Barack Obama and naturally Tor Johnson. All this plus Duke Mitchell!

Order your copy here:
http://screemag.com/index.php

Friday, May 8, 2015

Robert Johnson Portrait


Robert Johnson (1911-1938) is a towering figure in the history of 20th century music. He was a master of early Mississippi Delta blues, but his influence extended into rock, jazz, folk, country, slide guitar, even punk. Eric Clapton called Johnson "the most important blues singer that ever lived." And Bob Dylan said that after first hearing Johnson sing, "I immediately differentiated between him and anyone else I had ever heard." Johnson's life was turbulent, shadowy, and short.

This is my newly completed portrait of Robert Johnson, being released as a limited edition print to coincide with his 104th birthday, May 8th.

http://www.drewfriedman.net/prints/robert-johnson.html


My preliminary pencil sketch:





Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Forgotten Caricaturists Remembered

Frank Sinatra by Sam Berman (1947)
The work of masters of twentieth century celebrity caricature, among them Miguel Covarrubias, Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, David Levine, Ronald Searle, Edward Sorel, Robert Grossman and especially Al Hirschfeld continues to be reprinted, celebrated, and discovered by new and younger audiences. Sadly, there are many once hugely popular celebrity caricaturists whose work, for one reason or another, has been largely forgotten and rarely warrants a mere mention in most books on the art of caricature, including the recent "Infinite Jest". Illustrators and pop culture historians Drew Friedman and Stephen Kroninger aim to rectify that situation by presenting the work of 12 great, yet neglected and forgotten caricaturists.

Drew Friedman and Stephen Kroninger discuss the Forgotten Caricaturists presentation on WNYC's Leonard Lopate show:
http://www.wnyc.org/story/reviving-work-and-names-master-caricaturists/

Join us on Wednesday May 6th at 6:30 PM at New York's Society of Illustrators for an entertaining visual presentation discussing and celebrating the long forgotten works of Al Freuh, Einar Nerman, William Auerbach-Levy, Lou Hirshman, Jacques Kapralik, Alex Gard, Sam Berman, George Wachsteter, Alan Jedla, Abel Ianiro, Bill Utterback and John Johns.


To order tickets:
http://www.societyillustrators.org/Product.aspx?id=12922

http://www.societyillustrators.org/Events-and-Programs/Lectures/2015/Caricaturists/12-Legendary-Caricaturists-You’ve,-(probably),-Never-Heard-Of.aspx


Steven Heller on Forgotten Caricaturists Remembered for PRINT:
http://www.printmag.com/daily-heller/forgotten-caricaturists-remembered/

Leonard Maltin for "Movie Crazy":
http://blogs.indiewire.com/leonardmaltin/from-cary-grant-to-groucho-captured-in-caricature-20150504

art by Jacques Kapralik (1940)



Thursday, April 2, 2015

Marc Maron interviews Drew Friedman (and Mick Jagger)



My interview with Marc Maron for his WTF podcast is up today.

We discuss many fun topics, including Shemp Howard, Marty Allen, Jerry Lewis, and several of the "Heroes of the Comics" from my recent book.

Oh yeah, The lead-in interview is with a British musician
 named "Mick Jagger". Enjoy:

http://www.wtfpod.com

Marc Maron and I pose in front of the garage after our discussion




Sunday, March 29, 2015

Recent illustrations.


From time to time I show some of my recent work on this blog, some pieces that  were assignments, and others, private commissions. Here's some recently completed illustrations. (Click the images to enlarge):
comedian and host of the WTF podcast Marc Maron commissioned this portrait.
 This will be a large poster available on Maron's site.
 I'll be a guest on an upcoming WTF.

Bob Dylan posed as Frank Sinatra, for HEEB, also availible as a
limited edition print (only three left)
http://www.drewfriedman.net


and an album cover that could have been. Art direction by Todd Alcott

author Mickey Spillane, who began his career writing for comic books,
created for my
next book More Heroes of the Comics, coming out in late 2016 from
Fantagraphic books.

Screenwriters Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszwski, for the cover of the
Writer's Guild magazine Written By


Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, for the New York Observer
NY Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom for the NY Observer



Comics artist Daniel Clowes, a private commission

the late underground comix artist Rory Hayes, a private commission

the late underground cartoonist Spain Rodriguez, a private commission


musician Eric Clapton who turns 70 on March 30th, this was a private commission.
This will be for sale as a (very) limited edition print:
http://www.drewfriedman.net