Backing Into Forward: A Memoir - Jules Feiffer
Jules Feiffer, the great and original cartoonist, playwright, and children’s-book writer has written an aw-shucks memoir with Backing Into Forward (Nan A. Talese, $30). I am only a few years younger than Mr. Feiffer and the times he writes about are my times. I found the memoir incredibly evocative, from the amazingly puritanical relationships between young men and women in the ’50s, to the emerging counter-culture of the ’60s. Of course, many of Jules Feiffer’s finest cartoons illustrate the memories. Feiffer invented his own comedic process, which evolved from his way of viewing the world and his sensitivity to his own neurosis. He turned his army years and the scary Joseph McCarthy period into satire. He apprenticed with Will Eisner. He came of age as the Village Voice was beginning and became intimately identified with the fledgling alternative paper. He worked on a number of projects with Mike Nichols, including the iconic movie Carnal Knowledge. He knew everybody working in comedy and comics. This is a happy memoir from a man who has accomplished what he wanted to do with his life and had great fun doing it.