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Praise for Inklings
A favorite nonfiction book for 2009.
Four out of five stars.
—Time Out Chicago
“A powerful and moving portrait of an artist. (A–)
“Honest…Koterba renders scenes of family dysfunction with an artist’s feeling for nuance and detail.”
“Koterba showcases his hidden literary talent with writing that is nostalgic without being sentimental.”
“There are no cartoon villains in this sensitively rendered memoir, which recounts his long and difficult route to a successful career as a political cartoonist.”
“Koterba renders an absorbing and candid look at the creative process and the struggle to overcome adversity.”
“Inklings is fresh and powerful. A truly new voice has arrived on the scene.”
—Mary Pipher, author of Seeking Peace
“Jeffrey Koterba’s voice is distinctive, poignant, genuine, innocent and absolutely captivating. This is the opposite of a sentimental survivor memoir. Koterba pays tribute to the raw materials of his childhood with an unerring eye and shows us how to make art, not in spite of adversity, but because of it.”
—Richard Dooling, author of White Man’s Grave
“Koterba takes us on a journey of discovery that changes our perceptions about survival and artistic creation. Told with elegant simplicity, this memoir documents the passion of a boy who will not surrender his obsession, whose brilliance develops wit and cunning and fire to shield his sensitivity to the world around him.”
—Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife
“If we had our druthers, wouldn’t we all be cartoonists? Not only did Jeffrey Koterba grow up to have everybody’s dream job, but it turns out he’s a natural storyteller too. Koterba writes with charm, warmth, and honesty, creating a portrait of the artist that is both rich with nostalgia and haunted by family battles. His memoir carefully examines the perplexing, thrilling, and damaging pull of the creative impulse.”
—Timothy Schaffert, author of Devils in the Sugar Shop
“Cartoonists have had at least as much influence on the survival of our democracy as those who pen thousands of words. This book tells how one of the best came to risk the ire of people like me who needed someone to tell us how we really look.”
—Bob Kerrey, President of the New School, former US Senator and Governor of Nebraska
“Editorial Cartoonist Jeff Koterba turns his observational talent inward to produce a deeply engaging and truly heartwarming memoir. Read this book and feel good!”
—Jimmy Margulies, Editorial Cartoonist for The Record and King Features
“In his wonderful memoir, Inklings, Jeffrey Koterba takes us on a colorful journey through his past, rich with eccentric relatives and shocking events (both literally and figuratively). As a longtime fan of his work I’m grateful to Koterba for showing us how he became the remarkably talented and the honest artist he is today.”
—Glenn McCoy, Cartoonist syndicated with Universal Press Syndicate–editorials and comic strips (including The Duplex and The Flying McCoys) and a cartoonist for Playboy
“Among the stacks of old TV sets and electronic equipment lurked a wild imagination and a hand itching to draw. Jeffrey Koterba’s Inklings tells his own story of growing up with Tourette’s Syndrome in an age when the nation was obsessed with the Russians and space travel. Koterba weaves national events around and through his personal battles in a sometimes funny, often poignant way. Don’t miss Jeffrey Koterba’s journey.”
—Dana Summers, Editorial cartoonist for the Orlando Sentinel and Tribune Media, and creator of the comic strip, Bound and Gagged
“Jeffrey Koterba has always been an excellent cartoonist and musician. Inklings proves that he is also an excellent writer and storyteller. I envy him. Here is the entertaining story of the fascinating life he has lived. Would you have traded for it?”
—Arnold Roth, award-winning cartoonist for The New Yorker
“If Inklings were a novel, I would commend the author on his exquisitely drawn characterizations. Being nonfiction, however, one can only admire Mr. Koterba’s ability and willingness to translate to others the warmth and vibrant feeling of flesh and blood via the coldness of the statical medium that is print. He manages to do so with a vitality that leaves the reader with a sense that he or she is almost as much a member of the Koterba family as is the author. “
—Donald Schneider, author of “Pride’s Prison,” a short story regarding Tourette’s Syndrome and school bullying.