Monday, February 02, 2009

Marvin Friedman: "News and Views from New Jersey Jews"

Last February I wrote a post on Marvin Friedman. Five months later I was rewarded with a very entertaining email message under the subject line "News and Views from New Jersey Jews". It was from Marvin Friedman.

"Dear Leif Peng," it began, "someone pointed out your blog about me and I was astonished and thrilled to find out that I was still alive. What a nice thing to find."

"I'm sort of wondering with your cartoon assignments and all this work you put into this illustrator's research, when you pee and eat lunch. (not at the same time)"

"So many of my friends are gone. Al Parker, Noel Sickles, and Austin Briggs, that it was lovely seeing their blogs and dreaming of those golden days again. I haven't been able to work for 4 years because I got zonked with Parkinsons and I figured everybody forgot me by now, so that's why your effort on my behalf is appreciated. I'll send you some stuff, if you want."

And of course I replied that yes indeed, I very much did want Marvin to send me some stuff. Not long after, a package containing a great assortment of slides and a book written and illustrated by Marvin arrived in the mail.

Since then, Marvin and I enjoyed a long, rambling and very entertaining conversation on the phone.

This week, I'll share the details of our discussion, along with some wonderful examples of the artist's work - starting with these delightful pieces from the 1976 book, "Chewing Gum", written by Norma E. Lee and illustrated by Marvin Friedman.

* My Marvin Friedman Flickr set.


  1. I was was sorry to hear Marvin Friedman has Parkinsons. I have long enjoyed his work. His work looks as though it was drawn on the spot, and always just right for what was illustrated. He had his own way of working in color, with line & paint
    that I liked a lot.

  2. That's very nice of you to say, Harold;

    Let me assure you that Marvin has not let the Parkinson's keep him down. He told me that he is still at it - using one hand to hold the other steady. I for one am pretty impressed and encouraged by his determination to keep at it.

  3. Anonymous2:40 PM must be a mind reader!...i've always admired marvin friedman's work,i even have a bunch of his books in my library....i always felt he was carrying on what austin briggs,noel sickles,and al parker did...i particularly liked his approach to color on some of those book covers he did...i'm curious to see what samples he sent you,so i can compare them to whats in my library! the way....i LOVE your storyboard blog...i'll be sending you stuff soon....brian...

  4. WOW!....these works by Marvin are great. Thank you Leif once again, and thank you Marvin for sharing!!

  5. You're most welcome, Jared - thanks for your enthusiasm :^)