The crowd at the packed Lincoln Restaurant last night probably didn’t realize how popular syndicated cartoonist Nick Galifianakis is... because they nearly ran out of the potato croquettes laced with caviar and that would have been a shame.
The cartoonist, whose illustrations appear alongside his ex-wife Carolyn Hax's column in the Washington Post, must be doing something right because he’s always smiling... and he's most certainly doing something right if he can still work with his ex-wife. Some friendships have no expiration date.
We know, you all want what they're having. Hang on all you angry ex-spouses (think Charlie Sheen or Mel Gibson), we should also mention that Carolyn is an advice columnist and Nick is a "relationship cartoonist." Got that? It's pretty much in their job descriptions
Last night's party celebrated his new book, “If You Loved Me, You’d Think This Was Cute” -- or as the author likes to call it, “If you love me, you’ll buy this book.”
The book is a collection of his works, and the cover is probably an unsuspecting friend since they often grace his cartoons. Niteside is thinking the subject could even be a beefed-up version of his cousin, Zach Galifianakis, who played Ethan Tremblay in the hilariously funny flick "Due Date."
Obviously, talent runs in the family, so we were curious about his background. Turns out that Nick's never even taken an art class. “I’ve always drawn,” he said.
So how exactly does this work? Does he wake up with inspiration? Does he dream about cartoons?
“I do, I do, I do,” he answered without hesitation, “like all artists. It’s not an uncommon story. I’ve drawn since I was a child. I never remember not drawing, but it wasn’t anything I took seriously until I had an opinion, just about when it happens to everyone else... teens, late teens. I mean a real opinion, one that isn’t mimicking or parroting something else. And then, I realized I had a way to say things. I finally had something to say so I started putting my [art] to work and so far, it’s been quite a ride.”
Galifianakis spent a lot of time with his father, who was also self-taught. At some point, he said, ”you start paying attention more and more, start copying people and become fascinated by whatever level of talent you have.”
We were curious as to which other cartoonists he admired the most. “That would be a tough one,“ he said, “because... in 15 minutes I will change my mind, but there are a handful of gods that I have out there.”
Moving right along -- because Niteside is not even going to try to remember the 19th-century ones and because our French is not up to par, we took the easy way out and asked about his late colleague Herb Block, known as Herblock.
“I loved Herb Block,” he said. “I liked him because of the way he attacked the paper, especially when I got to know him. I met this sweet man, just dripping with honey and you would never think, after spending three minutes with Herblock, ...that he was capable of the graphic violence. Of course, he was a brilliant and fearless cartoonist which was the other side of the coin because I don’t know if I’ve met a nicer person; a very interesting juxtaposition."
So, getting back to cousin Zach, we thought that Nick might find his work into films. “I was asked to storyboard things when I was younger,” Nick said. “Now, they are more interested in how Carolyn and I still work together after having been married, and give advice.”
Hunter Biden in photo above with the author.