Thursday, December 5, 2019

New Biographies of Stan Lee, Mac Raboy and Irving Berlin


I strongly recommend these three new biographies:

Stan Lee, A Marvelous Life by Danny Fingeroth, St Martin's Press


Stan Lee (born Stanley Lieber), was a complex man. He was both worshiped and vilified, and has been described both as a talented and tireless worker and a shameless celebrity spokesman for Marvel comics. He was an imperious comics writer and editor, a persistent self-promoter, and a credit and publicity hog. His public persona was charming, funny and affable, and he was the public face of Timely/Atlas/Marvel Comics for over half a century and probably the most famous man to have ever worked in the comics industry. Comics historian Danny Fingeroth has written a fair-minded, fun, and finally, the essential biography of Stan Lee, chronicling Stan's rise and fall and unlikely early sixties rise again, as Lee, Marvel publisher Martin Goodman, artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, and others, ushered in Marvel's unprecidented super hero renaissance.

Mac Raboy, Master of the Comics by Roger Hill, TwoMorrows Publishing


Mac Raboy was a slow and meticulous artist and an expert technician, creating lush cover and interior artwork for the "golden age" comic book series Captain Marvel, Jr in the 1940's. His work was some of the most unusually beautiful artwork to ever grace mainsteam comics, and Roger Hill's meticulous biography presents hundreds of examples of Raboy's art as well as a detailed biography of his relatively short life. Beautifully designed by Jon B. Cooke, this book should be on the shelf of every lover of great comic book and comic strip art. Also an excellent introduction by Roy Thomas. Only two photos of the elusive Mac Raboy are known to exist, both of them are included in the book, as well as my full color portrait of Raboy created for my book Heroes of the Comics (Fantagraphics Books)

Irving Berlin, New York Genius by James Kaplan, Yale University Press


Irving Berlin was arguably the greatest American songwriter of the 20th century, his life spanned more than 100 years and his musical output was astounding, beginning with "Alexander's Ragtime Band" up until his last hit "Counting Blessings". Berlin composed the music and lyrics to some fifteen hundred songs. Like Frank Capra, his name was above the title because he earned it. James Kaplan's loving biography details the highs and lows of the brilliant, fiesty, sometimes maddening little Jewish song-plugger from the lower east side who would go on to write "God Bless America" and "White Christmas". It's an intense and glorious page-turner, masterfully written and thoroughly entertaining. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

DRAWN TO PRESIDENTS: Portraits and Satiric Drawings by Drew Friedman




A new exhibit, DRAWN TO PRESIDENTS: Portraits and Satiric drawings by Drew Friedman will open to the public on November 2nd, 2019 and run till Feb 9th, 2020 at the BIlly Ireland CARTOON Library & Museum at Ohio State University.

The exhibit will feature all of the original artwork created for my latest book from Fantagraphics ALL THE PRESIDENTSas well as presidential-themed original artwork drawn for, among others, SPY, MAD, TIME, NEWSWEEK, THE NEW YORKER, THE NEW REPUBLIC, The NEW YORK OBSERVER, and TOPPS Wacky Packs, plus sketches, rough drawings, magazine tearsheets, and rare presidential-themed ephemera on loan from my collection, books, MAD magazines, trading cards, buttons, record albums, MARX figurines, etc. 

Please Join me for the opening reception on Saturday, November 16th where I'll be in conversation with the great illustrator C.F. Payne at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Books will be for sale and availble for inscription.

https://library.osu.edu/site/cartoons/2019/10/11/new-exhibit-drawn-to-presidents/



the original art created for this New Yorker cover will be on display...

as will this image, the first depiction of George W. Bush on the cover of a national magazine.

 also on display, the current POTUS, painted for ALL THE PRESIDENTS


Monday, October 7, 2019

Drawing President Trump

My latest book, All The Presidents, portraits of all 45 presidents of the United States, inevitably concludes with the current president, Donald J. Trump. I didn't draw the 45 presidents chronologically, but I did save and draw Trump last, mainly because I just wasn't quite sure how to approach him. I've drawn him many times over the years, beginning in the mid-eighties for the satiric monthy SPY when he was still just a NYC real estate developer, and as his fame grew nationally, in publications such as The New York Observer, TIME, MAD, Fortune and others.

I drew some initial Trump sketches for my new book which I rejected for various reasons... too goofy, too silly, too buffoonish, etc. My intention with this book was to try not to overtly editorialize, so I finally rendered this portrait of Trump which concludes the book. Make of the expression what you will.

My Trump pencil sketch:


The finished art:


the book's cover:




Thursday, September 12, 2019

All The Presidents: Drew Friedman in conversation with Robert Klein


Thur, Oct 3rd at New York's Strand Bookstore's Rare Books Room, Broadway and 12th St, join artist Drew Friedman in conversation with the legendary comedian and actor Robert Klein discussing Friedman's latest book ALL THE PRSIDENTS, followed by a book signing. Seating is limited, reserve your seats now. This is the official book launch for the book.

https://www.strandbooks.com/event/drew%2Dfriedman%2Dpresidents?fbclid=IwAR3e2Opxs9oj0sW-GXqEUEuUx6VnzT952bLX6jVIDHjRGPdxlpuULFvBjuQ

“Somehow, Drew Friedman’s mastery manages to both humanize and satirize every member of this most exclusive club of U.S. presidents. Blemishes, moles, and errant hairs are like stars in his sky.”
- Jake Tapper

From the artist hailed by BOINGBOING as the greatest portraitist of our time comes ALL THE PRESIDENTS, a new collection of portraits of every U.S. president, from George Washington to Donald J. Trump, and everyone in between, each rendered in Friedman’s celebrated "warts & all" style, accompanied by vital statistics and fun factoids about each subject. ALL THE PRESIDENTS features a comic strip introduction by the author, and a foreword by Kurt Andersen, author and host of public radio’s Studio 360. Published by Fantagraphics books.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Three upcoming book covers


Three upcoming books featuring my cover art:

 my upcoming book "All The Presidents", coming out Sept 2019 from Fantagraphics books. Cover design by Keely McCarthey

"RONDO HATTON, Beauty Within the Brute" by Scott gallinhouse, upcoming from BearManor Media
cover design by Kerry Gammill

"GHETTO KLOWN", the paperback edition of John Leguizamo's graphic memoir, cover
design byPamela Notarantonio
coming in April 2020 from AbramsComicArts books




Monday, July 22, 2019

New Robert Crumb Print

This new drawing of R. Crumb strumming his mandolin amongst his vast record collection in his home in Sauve, France is now available as a large, high quality, signed, titled and numbered limited edition print (only 20 are being offered), and can be ordered here:

https://drewfriedman.net/prints/crumb-at-75.html


Monday, June 17, 2019

Portrait of Al Kooper


My new portrait of my old friend, musician Al Kooper, in celebration of his 75th birthday this year. This is now available as a large, high quality, limited edition (20), signed print.
Al Kooper, a songwriter ("This Diamond Ring", "I Can't Quit Her", etc), record producer and musician, known for organizing The Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears, providing studio support for Bob Dylan when he went electric (including playing the memorable organ on "Like A Rolling Stone"), and bringing together guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills to record the Super Session album. In the 1970's he became a successful recording artist, manager and producer, notably recording Lynyrd Skynyrd's first three albums. He's also had a successful solo career, touring and performing live concerts and writing music for film soundtracks and TV shows.