- Born: The United States.
- Description: Although in recent years Friedman has mostly worked doing caricature illustrations for mainstream publications, he first attracted public attention in the 1980s producing morbid alternative comics stories, sometimes working solo but often with his brother Josh Alan Friedman writing the scripts. These stories portrayed celebrities and character actors of yesteryear in seedy, absurd, tragi-comic situations. One memorable story followed Bud Abbott and Lou Costello wandering the urban jungle at night, encountering whores, junkies and other lowlifes. Friedman created strips featuring actor/wrestler Tor Johnson in his iconic hulking moron persona from Ed Wood, Jr. films. The brothers also wrote stories about talk-show host Joe Franklin, including one strip, written by Drew, for Heavy Metal magazine, The Incredible Shrinking Joe Franklin, that prompted Franklin to sue for $40 million. The suit was later dismissed. These stories were generally meant to be amusing, although they were extremely dark and a few were tragic. Drew Friedman's work won high praise from such notable figures as Kurt Vonnegut, who compared him to Goya, and R. Crumb, who wrote, "I wish I had this guy's talent".The Friedman brothers were first published in RAW Magazine. Working with and without his brother, Drew's comics were published in Heavy Metal, Weirdo, High Times, National Lampoon, and other comics anthologies from the '80s into the early '90s. The brothers published two collections, Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead is Purely Coincidental and Warts and All. In a Comics Journal interview, Drew Friedman lamented that he and his brother had failed to earn a living creating work that was time- and labor-intensive yet earned little. Josh no longer works in comics, but continues to write, and he performs music as Josh Alan.Beginning in 1986, Drew illustrated a monthly feature, "Private Lives of Public Figures," for (the now-defunct) SPY magazine; these illustrations were compiled in a book published by St. Martin's Press in 1992. He also provided illustrations for Howard Stern's two best-selling books, Private Parts and Miss America. Friedman served as comics editor for the National Lampoon in 1991, introducing the works of (among others) Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware to a wider audience. Since 1994 he has provided regular front-page illustrations for the New York Observer.In 2006, Friedman published Old Jewish Comedians (Fantagraphics Books), a collection of portraits of famous and forgotten Jewish comics of film and TV in their old age, about which Steven Heller, in the New York Times Book Review, wrote: "A festival of drawing virtuosity and fabulous craggy faces, . . . Friedman might very well be the Vermeer of the Borscht Belt." A sequel, More Old Jewish Comedians (Fantagraphics Books), was published in 2008. A collection of newer work, The Fun Never Stops! was published by Fantagraphics in 2007, containing many comics co-written by his frequent collaborator and wife, K. Bidus. Booklist listed it as One of the Ten Best Comics Collections of 2007.He is the son of author/satirist Bruce Jay Friedman.