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More Old Jewish Comedians
posted February 10, 2008
Fantagraphics, Blab!, hardcover, 36 pages, February 2008, $16.99
1560979143 (ISBN10), 9781560979142 (ISBN13)
There are all sorts of things you can say about More Old Jewish Comedians
. You can discuss the elegant art direction by Monte Beauchamp and this work's place in the Blab! series of thin, tightly-focused art books. You can talk about subtle changes in Drew Friedman's style 25 years ago to now. You may throw out a line or two about the whites that Friedman uses to suggest how skin sometimes reflects light in a photograph and how this forces the eye to take in the picture entire. You can compare this book to the last one on the same subject. You might mention the lengthy introduction by Larry Gelbart, or bring a little comics formal theory to the table and ask the reader to view this sequence of portraits as a comic whose images connected by a central theme rather than a narrative, and how they're at once funny and sad, the life force of so many self-made show business successes pushing through the wrinkles and liver spots. You could talk about the great atmospheric elements to Friedman's work, how his best portraits make you feel and sense and smell a moment and a place.
Or you can reprint Friedman's freakishly awesome depiction of Larry Storch and not have to say anything.