Profusely Illustrated: A Memoir by Edward Sorel

Usually any book missed in the monthly Hey Kids! Comics! checklist would wait to be noted in the following month’s entry, but this one is too important (and deserves separate documentation anyway).

A Memoir
By Edward Sorel

The book from Penguin Random House is now available!

Alongside more than 172 of his drawings, cartoons, and caricatures—and in prose as spirited and wickedly pointed as his artwork—Edward Sorel gives us an unforgettable self-portrait: his poor Depression-era childhood in the Bronx (surrounded by loving Romanian immigrant grandparents and a clan of mostly left-leaning aunts and uncles); his first stabs at drawing when pneumonia kept him out of school at age eight; his time as a student at New York’s famed High School of Music and Art; the scrappy early days of Push Pin Studios, founded with fellow Cooper Union alums Milton Glaser and Seymour Chwast, which became the hottest design group of the 1960s; his two marriages and four children; and his many friends in New York’s art and literary circles.

From The New York Times review:

Sorel, 92, has indeed had a profusely illustrated life. Over the past six decades, you’ve probably seen his many New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine covers, his political satire in The Nation, his cartoons in New York magazine, his caricatures in Vanity Fair. Perhaps you’re familiar with Ramparts magazine’s bestiaries, which lampooned the political follies of the 1960s, or “Sorel’s Unfamiliar Quotations” in The Atlantic. Maybe one of his many books? And all that’s to say nothing of the thousands of sketches and commissions and album covers and illustrations that animate the margins of a working artist’s career. Of course there’s no question your chances of recognizing his distinctively wavy drawing style are a lot better if you’re what he’d call an “Old Lefty.”

As should perhaps be obvious, the memoir is overtly political. Indeed, Sorel makes a point of giving a highly opinionated “exposé” of every administration in his lifetime. (A choice he later writes he’s “beginning to regret,” given the research involved.) But really, nothing provides so vivid a record of the events he lived through as the cartoons, caricatures and drawings that do, yes, profusely illustrate every chapter.

© Edward Sorel

Buy now from the publisher or Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Powell’s or Books A Million or…


Then, in a couple weeks, join Edward Sorel in Conversation with Signe Wilkinson.

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