Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer
The finest wit and cartoonist you’ve probably never heard of – Jules Feiffer is a relatively unheralded comic art legend
to the UK’s detriment, there are few people over here who are fans of Jules Feiffer, unless they were lucky enough to stumble across his most famous work: the illustrations for the children’s classic novel The Phantom Tollbooth.
His sophisticated milieu, of mid20th-century New York, particularly his celebrated work for The Village Voice, may not have any mainstream foothold on this side of the Pond. But anyone interested in the history of comics should celebrate that Martha Fay’s book enables them to gain a holistic insight into his career in one fell swoop.
Jules started out after WWII, providing bubbles for 10-a-penny hero comic strips. Then he established his own snarky series, Clifford, and went on to be valued for his hip metropolitan philosophy, with a loose sketchy style and freedom to present his thoughts however he liked. So there’s a wide range of artistic genres on display here, the very best extracts from his archive reproduced alongside Martha’s easy, personable prose, packed with insight taken from the man himself.
This fascinating treasure trove strikes one sad note, the foreword being written by Mike Nichols (director of Jules-scripted film Carnal Knowledge) before his untimely death. That aside, this is a hilarious collection for hip cats.
One of the many drawing styles – this one being cleaner than most – that Jules experimented with during his career.