The 223rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Sept. 25, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public.

Drew Friedman: Schtick Figures

Artist Drew Friedman discusses four decades of drawing old Jews, comics,  sideshow freaks, and Donald Trump, in a visual talk moderated by Columbia’s curator for comics and cartoons, Karen Green. Friedman was instructed at the School of Visual Arts by comics legends Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner and Art Spiegelman, and his comics first appeared in Spiegelman’s RAW and in R. Crumb’s Weirdo. Friedman would go on to create monthly work for Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, and SPY, where he would first render a relatively still unknown short-fingered New York real estate developer. He conceived concept art for TOPPS, including the legendary BARFO candy, and has produced regular illustration work for publications such as Entertainment Weekly, TIME, MAD, BLAB!, The New York Observer and The New Yorker, among others. Drew Friedman will discuss the highs and the lows of an award winning career as a comics artist, illustrator, and pop-culture historian. The evening will also include a sneak preview of his upcoming book.

Drew Friedman’s comics and illustrations have appeared in countless publications over the last 40 years, many which no longer exist.  His work has been collected in six anthologies, the most recent Drew Friedman’s Chosen People, (Fantagraphics), and he illustrated Howard Stern’s two best-selling books. Steven Heller writing in The New York Times wrote of his three volumes of portraiture of Old Jewish Comedians: “A festival of drawing virtuosity and fabulous craggy faces. Friedman might well be the Vermeer of the Borsht Belt”. His two volumes of Heroes of the Comics were recently published by Fantagraphics, the second volume nominated for an Eisner award. In 2014, the Society of illustrators hosted a two-floor showing of his original Old Jewish comedians art, the opening attended by none other than Abe Vigoda. Filmmaker Kevin Dougherty is currently filming a documentary on Friedman’s career, Vermeer of the Borscht Belt. Drew Friedman and his wife and frequent collaborator, K. Bidus live in rural PA with their beagle, Gunther.

jerry lewis