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More Old Jewish Comedians: A BLAB! Storybook Hardcover – April 17, 2008
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“This brilliant artist mixes the weather-beaten, liver-spotted visage, for all its wrinkles, rumples, moles, and folds of flesh, with the wattage of actual stardom.”
- ComicBook Bin
“Beautifully repulsive, with wrinkles, folds, sweat beads and liver spots that seem like revelations from your new high-definition TV pulling in big-pored images broadcast from a nightmare studio.”
- Seattle Times
“Some are famous (Woody Allen, Joan Rivers), while some never made it out of the clubs. All of them are depicted with both love and horror--those comb-overs, those liver-spots.”
- Roger Sabin, The Observer
“If there is one current artist who deserves more serious attention from the world, it is Drew Friedman… while Friedman might well want you to laugh at his interpretations, he probably wants you to cry simultaneously.”
- John E. Mitchell, The Transcript
About the Author
Drew Friedman's work has appeared in The New York Times, Mad, New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and many other magazines. He resides in Pennsylvania with his wife and collaborator, Kathy Bidus, and their two beagles.
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Drew specializes in that elusive art of the likeness, not something that every artist can achieve, and a talent even more rare among cartoonists (as opposed to formal portrait painters). In many ways Drew's exaggerated portraits capture more than a photograph ever could, giving lie to the notion that a photo is the most accurate visual representation of a person. Drew's caricatures go beyond photographs. He somehow sees what the camera doesn't.
Drew's approach is unique among his peers. Where Hirschfeld distills everything down to a few simple pen strokes - a line for a nose, a dot for an eye, a squiggle for a mouth, and a head of hair with hidden NINA's - Drew goes the other way, adding every freckle, dimple and age spot. Forget NINA - Friedman could hide the Declaration of Independence in just the wrinkles around the eye! Drew Friedman is the anti-Hirschfeld, or the Bizarro Hirschfeld, if you will. His paintings draw you in to a world of intimate details while still presenting an astounding likeness of his subject.
In this, his second volume of Old Jewish Comedians, Drew again takes on the challenge of portraying famous people not as we remember them, but as they look today (or as they did just before they left us). Yet beneath that patina of age... that connect-the-dots maze of liver spots... those layers of wrinkled skin... (and in the case of Joan Rivers, beneath her brand new face)... we can still recognize the familiar faces of the funnymen and funnywomen that we know and love. That makes More Old Jewish Comedians a joy to behold. It's more of the same, and I can't get enough!
The introduction by Larry Gelbart adds extra Jewish-ness and humor to the 35 wonderful drawings (Drewings?) in this book. Highly recommended.
Friedman's subjects this time around include Joe E. Lewis, Georgie Jessel, Larry Storch, Bill Dana, Joan Rivers, Molly Picon, Jack Gilford, Gummo and Zeppo Marx, Soupy Sales, Bert Lahr, Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Herbie Faye, Sid Melton and lesser-knowns Bert Gordon and B. S. Pulley. All of Freidman's work is spot-on. As with the earlier volume, it is not only accurate but often captures the essence of the individual.
In short, MORE OLD JEWISH COMEDIANS is a treat for comedy fans. Recommended.
Gave me quite a boost. Put zing in my step.The perfect wedding or bar mitzvah gift.
But seriously folks, can you believe he found MORE old Jewish comedians to paint so lovingly weird? MORE?! Who does he think he is? Oliver Twisted?
Buy this book....please!