Here is the Strand bookstore's video widget, from which you can watch last night's Jules Feiffer presentation. (As a bonus, you can also watch Gary Panter with Jonathan Lethem.) If you come across this blog entry in the future and don't see the Feiffer link (or there's a live video feed going on), click the "highlights" tab; if you still don't see the link, click here to access the video on the Strand website. (And if you keep navigating the "highlights" tab, you'll find Alexander Theroux's reading from last February as well.)
You New Yorkers are insane if you don't go to this tonight. Feiffer is going to be at The Strand Thursday night for the world premiere of EXPLAINERS. It's going to be pretty great. He's going to give a drawing presentation, read some of the strips of this historic book and then read a bit from his forthcoming memoir. It's going to be special.
In 1956, a relatively unknown cartoonist by the name of Jules Feiffer started contributing a strip to the only alternative weekly published in the US, a small radical newspaper called The Village Voice. His strip tackled just about every issue, private and public, that affected the sentient American: relationships, sexuality, love, family, parents, children, psychoanalysis, neuroses, presidents, politicians, media, race, class, labor, religiion, foreign policy, war, and one or two other existential questions. It was the first time that the American public had been subjected to a weekly dose of comics that so uncompromisingly and wittily confronted individuals' private fears and society's public transgressions. Explainers is the first of four volumes collecting Feiffer's entire run of weekly strips from The Village Voice. This edition contains approximately 500 strips originally published between 1956 and 1966 in a brick-like landscape hardcover format.
You are invited to the world premiere of Jules Feiffer's long-awaited collection, Explainers, featuring the complete first decade of his legendary and groundbreaking comic strip, Sick, Sick, Sick (and later redubbed Feiffer), from the Village Voice. Feiffer will read from the book and answer questions before signing copies of the deluxe hardcover collection.
"Samuel Johnson said he hoped God would think he had made good of his God-given talents. Jules Feiffer need have no dread of such an audit... What has made his services so welcome for so many years now is his possession, in addition to high intelligence, of something no hypocrite or egomaniac could claim, which is a human sense of humor." - Kurt Vonnegut
WHO: Jules Feiffer WHAT:Explainers: The Complete Village Voice Strips 1956-66 World premiere book release reading and signing WHERE: THE STRAND 828 Broadway at 12th St. (Union Square) New York, NY 10003-4805 212.473.1452 WHEN: Thursday, May 15, 7PM
This event is free and open to the public.
For more information and the full press release, please click here.
A parenthetical aside on the panel above: I was startled by Feiffer's use of "omigod" in this strip dated January 2, 1957 — decades before the word was popularized by the whole "Valley Girl" fad of the 1980s.
(As a reminder, 20/20 Club members receive these previews two weeks before we post them on the website, just one of many great reasons to join up...)
We've put the entirety of Gary Groth's introduction to Explainers, the forthcoming collection of Jules Feiffer's Village Voice strips (due in June), here on the website for your reading pleasure. The feature includes a sideshow preview of 11 strips selected by Groth as standouts from the collection. Read it now!