Backing Into Forward: A Memoir (Paperback)

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ITEM# 13912923
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ITEM#: 13912923

Jules Feiffer is a cartoonist, playwright, screenwriter, and children’s book author and illustrator. He has taught at the Yale School of Drama, Northwestern University, and Dartmouth College, and currently teaches at Stony Brook Southampton College. Over the course of his career, he has won a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Award for his cartoons; an Obie for his plays; an Academy Award for the animation of his cartoon satire,Munro; and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Writers Guild of American and the National Cartoonist Society.

Subversive, funny, and effortlessly droll, Jules Feiffer’s cartoons were all over New York in the 1960s and ’70s—featured in theVillage Voice, but also cut out and pinned to bulletin boards in offices and on refrigerators at home. Feiffer describes himself as “lucking into the zeitgeist,” and there’s some truth to the sentiment; Feiffer’s brand of satire reflected Americans’ ambivalence about the Vietnam War, changing social mores, and much more.

Feiffer’s memoir, Backing into Forward, like his cartoons, is sharply perceptive with a distinctive bite of mordant humor. Beginning with his childhood in Brooklyn, Feiffer paints a picture of a troubled kid with an overbearing mother and a host of crippling anxieties. From there, he discusses his apprenticeship with his hero, Will Eisner, and his time serving in the military during the Korean War, which saw him both feigning a breakdown and penning a cartoon narrative called “Munro” that solidified his distinctive aesthetic as an artist. While Feiffer’s voice grounds the book, the sheer scope of his artistic accomplishment, from his cartoons turning up in theNew Yorker, Playboy, and the Nation to his plays and film scripts, is remarkable and keeps the narrative bouncing along at a speedy clip. A compelling combination of a natural sense of humor and a ruthless dedication to authenticity,Backing into Forward is full of wit and verve, often moving but never sentimental.

“Jules Feiffer’s original and neurotic voice. . . . reinvented comics in the 1950s and made possible what’s now called the ‘graphic novel.’ His engaging new memoir is told in that same witty and perceptive New York cadence, mellowed and laced with wisdom. He’s an inspiration.”—Art Spiegelman

Specs

ISBN 9780226240350
Genre BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Artists, Architects, Photographers
Format Paperback
Pages 440
Publisher Date 2012-04-10 00:00:00.0
Publisher Univ of Chicago Pr
Copyright Year 2010
Height 9.25 in
Wdth 5.75 in
Thickness 1.25 in
Unit weight 1.35 lb
Language English
Subtitle A Memoir
Edition Detail Reprint
Audience College/higher education
Authors Feiffer, Jules
Country of Origin United States
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