Friend, David Michael 1975-

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Friend, David Michael 1975-


Born December 14, 1975, in Wadsworth, IL; son of Richard William Friend, Jr., and Karen Kucera Friend. Education: Parsons School of Design, B.F.A.; attended School of Visual Arts (New York, NY).


Home—New York, NY. E-mail—[email protected]


Illustrator, animator, designer, puppeteer, and art director. Has worked on multimedia projects for Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, Jim Henson Productions, Disney, American Girl, Saturday Night Live, and Cartoon Network. Cofounder, with Gretchen Van Lente, of Drama of Works (puppet theater group), 1996. Creator of puppet shows, including The Typist, Pertussis, Lunatic, and The Bident of Angels; contributor to puppet performances Doctor Faustus, The Ballad of Phineas P. Gage, and Curiouser and Curiouser. Director and artistic designer of Moonfishing (short film). Resident artist at HERE Arts Center, New York, NY, 2007—.

Awards, Honors

Starr Foundation Award, Society of Illustrators, 1996; grants from Jim Henson Foundation, 2000, 2002, 2008.


Alice Low, Blueberry Mouse, Mondo (New York, NY), 2004.

J.T. Petty, The Squampkin Patch: A Nasselrogt Adventure, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

J.T. Petty, The Scrivener Bees ("Clemency Pogue" series), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2007.

Richard W. Friend III, Daniel and the Great Bearded One (graphic novel), Mondo (New York, NY), 2007.


David Michael Friend is an animator and illustrator whose darkly humorous work has been televised on the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Saturday Night Live. A freelance art director based in New York City, Friend cofounded the puppet theater group Drama of Works, and he has contributed to a number of theater and film pieces featuring his puppet creations. In addition, Friend has provided the artwork for a number of picture books, including The Scrivener Bees by J.T. Perry.

Blueberry Mouse with a text by Alice Low, was Friend's first children's-book project. The book centers on a friendly creature that cannot stop nibbling away at its home, which is made of blueberry pie. "This story in rhyme becomes a feast for the eyes," remarked School Library Journal contributor Wanda Meyers-Hines, the critic also praising the "rich colors" Friend uses in his artwork.

Friend and Petty began their creative collaboration with The Squampkin Patch: A Nasselrogt Adventure, which follows the adventures of siblings Milton and Chloe Nasselrogt. The two children face a challenge when they discover a confectioner's sinister plot to grow deadly squampkins: squash-pumpkin hybrids. A critic in Kirkus Reviews predicted that "readers will note how the illustrations … progress throughout [the book] from sprout to monstrous vegetables."

In The Scrivener Bees, Clemency Pogue attempts to stop Inky Mess, a changeling, from taking control of Make Believe. Remarking on Friend's artwork for Petty's story, a Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote that the book's illustrations "underscore Inky's haunting dark side and bring life to the tale's fantastical creatures."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2006, review of The Squampkin Patch: A Nasselrogt Adventure, p. 850; July 1, 2007, review of The Scrivener Bees.

School Library Journal, May, 2004, Wanda Meyers-Hines, review of Blueberry Mouse, p. 118; July, 2006, Caitlin Augusta, review of The Squampkin Patch, p. 110; August, 2007, Sheila Fiscus, review of The Scrivener Bees, p. 124.


David Michael Friend Home Page, (October 15, 2008).

HERE Arts Center Web site, (October 15, 2008), "David Michael Friend."