An unforgettable, illustrated memoir of the years between 9/11 and the Occupy movementin New York City and around the worldby the renowned underground artist and journalist.When the world watched me hardest, when my brain burned itself bloody, I could draw. No matter what, I had that. It was all I needed.
In language that is fresh, bracing, and deeply movingand illustrations that are rich, irreverent, and gorgeoushere is a memoir that will change the way you think about art, sex, politics, and survival in our times.From a young age, Molly Crabapple was a rebel in search of a cause. After graduating from high school on New Yorks Long Island, she left America for Europe and the Near East, a waiflike yet steel-sprung young artist plunging fearlessly into the faraway cultures she had come to love through the stories of her artistic heroes.Returning to New York as an art student, she supported herself by working as a model, a burlesque performer, and an early model for the famous SuicideGirls. Eventually she landed a gig as house artist at Simon Hammerstein's legendary nightclub The Box, the epicenter of decadent Manhattan nightlife before the financial crisis of 2008where she witnessed the class divide, between the bankers of Wall Street and the entertainers who walked among them in a bawdy, drug-fueled circus of mutual exploitation. Then, in the wake of the crash, the emerging Occupy movement galvanized Molly to lend her talent to a new form of witness journalism. Dubbed Occupys greatest artist byRolling Stone,
she went on to write and illustrate stories from Guantanamo to Syria to Rikers Island to the labor camps of Abu Dhabi, transforming her workher lifelong tool for making sense of the world around herinto a voice for the powerless.Now, with the same blend of sharp-eyed reportage and unforgettable artwork that has marked her work in venues fromthe New York Times
to Vanity Fair
, Molly brings this tumultuous era back to life in a book that captures art and life in our times as viscerally as Patti Smith captured hers inJust Kids.Drawing Blood
features 117 color illustrations throughout and printed endpapers.
Drawing Blood is packed with enough energy and edge to make Patti Smith's Just Kids seem like a field trip to Disneyland...Candid, earthy, romantic, funny, omnivorous... A portrait of a tough woman winning (finally) in a tough profession in the toughest of cities -- Shelf Awareness Crabapple is smart and wicked and wicked smart, a master of imagery and perception, and so her art always works on multiple levels. So too the book. She's not afraid to provide contradictory thoughts and feelings. Drawing Blood might be the sexiest thing you read this year. -- Daily Beast This beautiful book, generously graced with so many illustrations, is artfully designed and fun to browse for the images alone...But Crabapple's tight, vibrant, jabbing prose, and prescient asides are the reason to buy this work. Her narrative is well-crafted, expertly told, and completely compelling. -- Seattle Times Book Review The book reads like a notebook of New York, a cultural history of a certain set. Filtered through her eyes, we see 9/11, the aftermath of the crash, Occupy Wall Street, Hurricane Sandy and onward... [Crabapple is] a new model for this century's young woman. -- New York Times Book Review Celebrated New York journalist Crabapple is also one of America's best, most original artists. Her memoir tells the story of her remarkable life, from her days modeling for Suicide Girls to her groundbreaking Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School and her work with Occupy Wall Street. -- Men's Journal Hers is a story of art as liberation...Molly detects the bright and beautiful as well as she does the dark and fearful in the world not just because her eye is keen, but also because her eyes are so wide open. -- Alana Massey, Buzzfeed Books Among the book's delights are the frequent examples of her work, from jittery sketches to lush, colorful paintings - both words and images are the product of a keen eye and devastating pen. -- Boston Globe Jaw dropping, awe inspiring, and not afraid to shock, Crabapple is a punk Joan Didion, a young Patti Smith with paint on her hands, a twenty-first century Sylvia Plath. There's no one else like her; prepare to be blown away by both the words and pictures. -- Booklist (starred review) Lavishly illustrated, the book offers a candid portrayal of an artist's journey to self-knowledge and fulfillment. -- Kirkus Reviews Artist, writer, and activist Crabapple was compelled from a young age by the need to draw because it gives her a sense of self worth. Her struggles as an impoverished artist are rendered here in raw, vivid prose, accompanied by her arresting illustrations. -- Publishers Weekly Using illustrations to bolster the written material, Drawing Blood, out now, is a more intimate memoir than we're used to seeing, one that is blazingly honest and unafraid to offer up something real to chew on. -- Paper Magazine Artist Molly Crabapple delivers a violently felt and intimately revealing memoir. -- Book Riot Hands down, the best book I've read all year...an incredible book that has everyone talking... This raw, unrepentant memoir sheds light on Molly Crabapple's early career, her first forays into reporting, and her tireless quest to improve as an artist. The lavish illustrations are just the icing on the cake. -- Heavy.com Molly Crabapple's pen is a scalpel, and she's not afraid to turn the blade on herself. Beautifully excruciating. -- Patton Oswalt Molly Crabapple could be this generation's Charles Bukowski. She's a great artist whose life is also a work of art. -- Matt Taibbi In a few short years, Molly Crabapple has proved to be one of the most determined and effective political artists working in these sorry times. I wish there were a hundred or even two or three like her. -- Joe Sacco Molly writes like she draws: the spare lines have a reporter's keen accuracy, but can barely contain the boisterous, messy, soulful life splashing about within. Inspiring, intimate, and just a bit intimidating, this book is a must. -- Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and writer-director of The Avengers Molly Crabapple is turn by turn irreverent, respectful, enraged and then trembling with awe, and all of this is a tender meditation on the power of art to transform a singular life into one that can be emblematic for us all: powerful and magical. -- Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas and GraceLand Molly Crabapple writes that her pen is a lockpick,' and with it she has revealed truths about life, culture, and politics in America that are compelling, artistic, and memorable-as is this revealing new memoir. An engaging read by one of the nation's most gifted activists. -- Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy