Munro won an Oscar in 1961. His career encompassed everything from comic str"/>

Backing into Forward: A Memoir

Jules Feiffer, Author . Doubleday/Talese $30 (440p) ISBN 978-0-385-53158-0

Before Feiffer received a 1986 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, his animated Munro won an Oscar in 1961. His career encompassed everything from comic strips (Village Voice ; Playboy ), novels (Ackroyd ) and plays (Little Murders ) to children's books (Bark ; George ), nonfiction (The Great Comic Book Heroes ) and screenplays (Carnal Knowledge ; Popeye ). Retracing his path of past creative pursuits, he takes anecdotal detours to introduce the talented people he met along the way. As a kid (he was born in 1929), drawing comic strip characters on the sidewalk was a way to avoid Bronx bullies: “I was never not afraid.” Serving an apprenticeship with cartoonist Will Eisner, he felt he was a fraud (“My line was soft where it should be hard, my figures amoebic when they should be overpowering”), so he instead graduated to ghostwriting Eisner's The Spirit . His account of hitchhiking cross-country invades Kerouac territory, while his ink-stained memories of the comics industry rival Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize–winning fictional portrait. Two years in the military gave Feiffer fodder for the trenchant Munro (about a child who is drafted). Such satirical social and political commentary became the turning point in his lust for fame, which finally happened, after many rejections, when acclaim for his anxiety-ridden Village Voice strips served as a springboard into other projects. Writing with wit, angst, honesty, and self-insights, Feiffer shares a vast and complex interior emotional landscape. Intimate and entertaining, his autobiography is a revelatory evocation of fear, ambition, dread, failure, rage, and, eventually, success. (Mar. 16)

Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 03/01/2010
Show other formats
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-1-4013-0199-6
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-385-53159-7
Paperback - 456 pages - 978-0-226-24035-0
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.