Thursday, April 4, 2019

RIP Leslie Sternbergh Alexander

[Leslie Sternbergh Alexander and Adam Alexander]

Leslie Sternbergh Alexander, a longtime East Village resident and respected underground cartoonist and illustrator, died on March 27. Alexander, who was 58, died from multiple systems atrophy, according to a friend.

In a tribute yesterday, Bleeding Cool News noted the many publications where Alexander's detailed work had been published through the years.

[H]er work appeared over three decades in the likes of Twisted Sisters, Real Stuff, The Comics Journal, Cherry Poptart, Juxtapoz, Weirdo, Dori Stories, Wimmen’s Comix, Tits & Clits but also Mad Magazine, Vogue, "DC’s Big Book of Urban Legends," "Big Book Of Thugs" and "Big Book of Little Criminals" and unusually inking a story in a Wonder Woman Annual and contributing to "The History of the Marvel Universe." She even appeared in the "Crumb" movie as one of Robert Crumb’s human chairs, as well as appearing in – and creating comic book illustrations for – the 1989 movie "Alien Space Avenger."

She came to comic books after reading old Mad Magazine paperbacks and collections of Playboy’s Little Annie Fannie when younger, before coming to comics from DC, Warren and the underground scene, learning skills from anatomy classes given by Sal Montano at the New York Academy of Art, including both life drawing from dead bodies.

In 2014, she and her husband, Adam Alexander, who died in late 2017, started an Emergency Rent Party 2014 (aka "Save the Hippies!").

The campaign overview provides more background on both Leslie and Adam, and their relationship...

They're enduring a housing court case after income challenges following Leslie's bout with cancer — successfully cured with surgery — and their adopted store cat Zoubi's end of life expenses. Zoubi succumbed to cancer last year at age 21.

Adam's lived in his apartment for 44 years. Leslie's lived there with Adam since 1985, as Mrs. Alexander since 1986. They'd like to continue to dwell there on an ongoing basis and are amidst various arrangements to ensure that it can happen.

Adam, a bohemian mathematician, is the inventor of Ideal Toys' official sequel to Rubik's Cube, Alexander's Star.

Leslie's drawn comix and written about art and in recent years made wearable art and far as anyone knows she was the first woman to receive a call-back to do a second comic art job for Mad Magazine, nearly 20 years ago now (took 'em long enough!)

They're artists with big hearts and comedic intellects ...

You can find a sampling of her work here and here.

In a tweet, cartoonist and illustrator Colleen Doran wrote: "She was a brilliant underground cartoonist. artist model, and a stupendously funny and beautiful person."

Alexander's friend, illustrator Danny Hellman, left this tribute to her last week on Facebook: "Brilliant. Witty. Talented. Feisty. Eccentric. Unforgettable."


Felton Davis shared this photo of Leslie and Adam stopping by to gaze at the stars a few years back ...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us know, and condolences to her friends and family.

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet couple. So sad ... another loss for our neighborhood; I remember seeing and likely photographing Leslie in the 'hood, probably at one of those good old 'the rent is too damn high' rallies, marches, etc. I know we chatted a few times briefly. Good people. RIP. Sending thoughts and prayers to their family and friends.

mojo au gogo said...

they were visitors to berkeley and stayed at the infamous wharehouse home of natasha shawver's scooby's toys and don donahue's apex novelties comix publishing... good friends and always welcome...
adam did amazing fractal art and leslie helped start a gallery here... cheers mates and travel well...

sun•shine said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Leslie and Adam back in the late 80's, being a cartoonist myself, introduced to them via a friend of mine.
RIP to the both of them, such powerful spirits taken too soon.