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Inklingsby Jeffrey Koterba
Synopses & Reviews
"Inklings is fresh and powerful. A truly new voice has arrived on the scene."--Mary Pipher, author of Seeking Peace
"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
"Koterba writes with charm, warmth, and honesty, creating a portrait of the artist that is both rich with nostalgia and haunted by family battles."--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 this honest memoir, Koterba, nationally syndicated political cartoonist and jazz musician, depicts a childhood burdened with both Tourette's syndrome and an eccentric, overbearing father. A failed musician, the older Koterba drank heavily and turned his frustrations on his family. He also had a part-time business repairing and selling televisions, which turned their Omaha, Neb., home into a Sanford and Son — style junkyard. Like his son, he suffered from Tourette's, which has a genetic component. The painfully shy Koterba struggled as a young man to escape the family chaos and follow his artistic inclinations. Koterba renders scenes of family dysfunction with an artist's feeling for nuance and detail. His psychic turmoil is portrayed with equal facility, and the junkyard house becomes a fearsome presence. However, the book lacks thematic unity. While Koterba offers a number of recurring themes — his Tourette's, the Apollo moonwalk, a journalist uncle killed in a plane crash — none of these receive enough focus to sustain the narrative. Yet Koterba's weakness is also his strength: the closeness to his material." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Jeffrey fights his way out from beneath the shadow of his domineering father and clinging mother to follow his lifelong dream of cartooning for a living—he is now a widely syndicated political cartoonist. A funny, heart-felt memoir depicting a family doing their best to love one another and, against long odds, succeeding.
At age six, Jeffrey Koterba began drawing cartoons, creating with ink and white paper a clean, expansive refuge from the pandemonium surrounding him.
The Koterba household was filled floor-to-ceiling with second-hand TVs and garage-sale treasures his father, Art, fixed and sold for extra money. A hard-drinking ex-jazz drummer whose big dreams never panned out, Art was subject to violent facial and vocal tics—symptoms of Tourettes Syndrome, a condition Jeffrey inherited—as well as explosions of temper and eccentricity that kept the Koterba family teetering on the brink of disaster.
From the canyons of busted electronics, the lightning strikes, screaming matches, and discouragements great and small emerged a young man determined to follow his creative spirit to grand heights. And much to his surprise, he found himself on a journey back to his family and the father he once longed to escape. Inklings is an exuberant, heart-felt memoir infused with a uniquely irresistible optimism.
About the Author
JEFFREY KOTERBA is an award-winning, syndicated political cartoonist. He is also lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the Prairie Cats, a swing band. Inklings is his first book.
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