Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Gilbert Gottfried, drawn for the final Village Voice

The final print issue of New York's legendary alt' weekly newspaper The Village Voice is out today (9/20/17), and many current and former contributing writers,

photographers, illustrators and cartoonists were invited to create one last piece for the issue.

I drew my old friend, comedian and podcaster Gilbert Gottfried, posed on a downtown street in Manhattan.

The addition of the, (soon to be history), red Voice distribution box was suggested by the Voice's art director, Ashley Smestad Velez.
Gilbert Gottfried

initial sketch (shoes were changed to sneakers)

printed page, including my text

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Caricatures by Dal Holcomb

Dal Holcomb, (Delmora Bistwick Holcomb), 1901-1978, was a prolific twentieth century commercial illustrator. He began his career in the thirties, specializing in sexy pin-up girls, and creating advertising art for several major accounts and countless magazine illustrations and covers. 

Holcomb was also an excellent caricaturist, and beginning in the fifties, created lively, colorful gouache silhouette portraits of many current film and television stars, continuing into the late sixties. This is the work I'm presenting here. I couldn't find any information on where these caricatures originally appeared though, but I'm speculating that they were created either for art gallery showings of his work, or for regional newspaper TV suppliment covers. Any information appreciated.

Thanks to John Wendler

Clark Gable, Elsie the Cow, 1940's advertising art
Edward G. Robinson
William Bendix
Donald O'Connor
Loretta Young
Tony Curtis
Ceasar Romero
Fred Astaire
Eve Arden
Jack Palance
Judy Garland
Shirley Booth
Dana Andrews

Miyoshi Umeki

Jack Webb
Chuck Conners
Jim Backus
Ed Sullivan
Jack Paar
Art Linkletter
Mitch Miller
Steve Allen
Milton Berle
Danny Kaye
Imogene Coca
George Gobel
Lucille Ball

Mort Sahl
Joey Bishop
Flip Wilson


Monday, August 14, 2017

Jack Kirby Print by Drew Friedman

On August 28, 2017, we celebrate the 100th birthday of Jack Kirby, a towering figure in comic book history. My portrait of a contemplative Kirby first appeared on the cover (and interior) of my 2014 book Heroes of the Comics (Fantagraphics). In honor of the Kirby centenary, the work is now being issued as a limited edition (15) large, fine art print,  hand-numbered, hand-titled, and signed by me.

Early in his long career, Jack Kirby co-created the sensational Captain America. In the early 1950s, freelancing for DC and Atlas, he specialized in action thrillers and covers depicting horrifying monsters bent on destroying Earth. These appeared in Tales to Astonish,Amazing Adventures, and World of Fantasy.  At Marvel in the early 1960s, editor Stan Lee created a new superhero series, The Fantastic Four, and enlisted Kirby to plot and illustrate their adventures. Kirby replicated this success with The HulkThorIron ManX-MenThe Silver SurferDoctor Doom, and others. Kirby devised what was essentially Marvel's in-house style, designing their dynamic visual motifs and creating a template that artists have been following and stealing for decades. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Drew Friedman's CHOSEN PEOPLE

My upcoming book, Drew Friedman's CHOSEN PEOPLE will be released in fall 2017, published by Fantagraphics books. The book features over 120 of my more recent portraits of the famous, near-famous, not-so-famous, the celebrated and the reviled, includings artists, cartoonists, comedians, actors, singers, writers, politicians, baseball players, relatives and elevator operators. The book features a foreword by Emmy winning comedy writer Merrill Markoe, and is edited by Eric Reynolds and designed by Keeli McCarthey.

the book's cover featuring musician Muddy Waters

back cover featuring cartoonist Chris Ware

Drew Friedman's Chosen People Facebook Page:

Monday, July 10, 2017

They All "Don't Drink The Water"

Woody Allen's first play, Don't Drink The Water, starred the great Lou Jacobi and
1966: Lou Jacobi, Vivian Vance
and author Woody Allen, before Vance
was fired.

co-starred I Love Lucy's Vivian Vance as his wife. Vance was fired from the play by Allen as it previewed out of town and replaced by Kay Medford and later Peggy Cass. The show opened on Broadway in 1966.

Don't Drink The Water would be revived often after it's successful Broadway run with various revolving touring company casts over the next decade. Jackie Gleason, (coming off Skidoo), and Estelle Parsons would star in the awful 1969 film version, directed by Howard Morris, which Woody Allen would disavow.

The play takes place inside an American embassy behind the iron curtain. Three tourists, an American caterer named Walter Hollander and his wife and daughter rush into the embassy just ahead of the police who suspect them of spying via their innocent picture-taking. The comedy hijinx ensues from there, including the son of the, (missing), ambassador falling in love with the caterer's daughter. Don't Drink The Water received overall positive reviews and would run for 598 performances at three different Broadway theaters.

                                                   (thanks to John Wendler)

the original 1966 poster when the show was announced

Playbill while the show was debuting
out of town with Vivian Vance

 Broadway Playbill (artist unknown to me)

Jacobi, Kay Medford and the entire cast, (Brother Theodore on the right)

Jacobi, Kay Medford

Lou Jacobi as Walter Hollander caricatured by Sam Norkin

Long Island railroad schedule ad for two,
(David Merrick produced), hit shows

Lou Jacobi, Peggy Cass...

Lou Jacobi, Peggy Cass...

Sam Levene as Walter Hollander

Sam Levene, Marjorie Lord...

Sam Levene, Vivian Blaine

Sam Levene, Selma Diamond

Hans Conried, Vivian Blaine...

Blaine and Conried

Phil Foster, Vivian Blaine...

Imogene Coca, King Donovan

Al Lewis

Shelley Berman

Joe Flynn

Jerry Lester...

Jan Murray

Eddie Bracken, wife and daughter...

Morrie Dragoon

Paul Lynde...

1969 movie poster art by Sanford Kossin...

Poster art by Jack Davis...

a 1994 TV version starring Woody Allen and Dom DeLuise and directed by Woody Allen