Ten months before the stock market crash of 1929, on January 26th Jules Ralph Feiffer was born in the Bronx
From his first work as assistant to legendary cartoonist, Will Eisner, to a career that covers everything from comicstrips to plays to animation to screenplays to graphic novels. With an almost Zelig-like ability Feiffer has been standing with pen and paper in hand at our cultural crossroads and jumping in with both feet (and brains) to report what he's seen.
Monro the tale of a four-year old who accidentally gets drafted, became an animated short that won an Academy Award in 1961.
Norton Juster happened to be his downstairs neighbor and asked him to illustrate his first book...
A new newspaper emerged in The Village so he approached them with some comic strip ideas...
It ran for the next 40 years
And spawn a best sellers while coining the term "sick humor." Through the years they became more and more political and in 1986 he won a Pulitzer.
Then he decided to try his hand at plays
Which landed on Broadway and won Obies
He also wrote screenplays and worked with directors like Robert Altman
and Mike Nichols and new actors like Jack Nicholson
Somewhere in there he penned a history of comic books prompted by an editor named...
I met him in the 1980's when he was just embarking on a new career...
As a children's book author
A couple of years ago, he decided he'd try something else.
This time, graphic novels...
This is the first book in a trilogy!
Last month the New York Observer asked me to do a piece on a "mentor" for a special section.Hard to get this all in one page, but I tried...
Furshlugginer MAD magazine is still around and , if you haven't checked it out in the last 15 years, full color. I'm in my 19th year of doing Spy vs Spy and happily they even let me do some other things (what can you say, they're idiots). Hideously timely piece on our gun culture...
Not too many publications that are still plowing this field.
Need I say more:
She's a beautiful hardcover named Ruins weighing 3 lbs. and 328 pages long
And I was overjoyed to hear positve things from some enthusiastic relatives:
Uncle Publishers Weekly gave her a starred review
"This magnificent graphic novel by Kuper (The Metamorphosis, World War 3) follows an American couple who decamp for Oaxaca, Mexico, for a sabbatical and creative recharge, only to get far more than they bargained for... Partly autobiographical, Ruins was inspired by two years Kuper and his family spent in Oaxaca during the long, bloody teachers’ strike of 2006, during which police killed several protesters and a U.S. journalist. Richly illuminated by Kuper’s trademark light touch with relationships and steely political acumen, it’s a beautiful, epic roman à clef about the importance of seeking the new and questioning the old."
Aunt Library Journal also had some nice things to say, with a star
"Kuper’s evocative artwork captures the heartbreaking events that occurred in Mexico in 2006 under the regime of Gov. Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, and his narrative blends the above mentioned elements into a seamlessly poignant piece about the inescapable revolutions of existence. As a work with strong visual narratives, Ruins is a valuable addition to any graphic fiction collection."
Please join me in welcoming my new child into the world...
Tomorrow, Tuesday September 22nd at 7 pm I will be having a presentation for her at The Strand Bookstore in NYC.