Jules Feiffer has had one of the most varied and illustrious careers of any 20th century cartoonist. For over 40 years he contributed strips to The Village Voice, and has long been a regular contributor to the London Observer and Playboy. Passionella and Other Stories collects Feiffer's finest extended graphic narratives of the late '50s and early '60s. It opens in full-color with "Excalibur and Rose," the fable of a village comedian who embarks on a crusade in search of his serious side, which he finds in spades when he encounters his true love, the pathologically depressed Rose. The volume's centerpiece, "Passionella," a retelling of Cinderella set in modern Hollywood, concerns a chimney sweep whose fairy godmother transforms her into the "mysterious exotic bewitching temptress" and movie star Passionella. Other stories include "The Lonely Machine," an account of one man's attempt to find the perfect relationship through robot love, and "Harold Swerg," the predicament of the world's greatest athlete who'd rather stay at his mundane job than compete against others, despite his country's desperate pleas to enter the Olympics. Three more classic graphic tales and several entertaining one-act plays round out this handsomely designed hardcover edition.
"Jules Feiffer was one of (if not) the first of the early writer/artists to emerge from the comic book ghetto into the literary/art world." – Will Eisner
"The modern, non-editorial-page cartoon of social and political commentary was pretty much invented by Jules Feiffer." – Booklist
"One of the sharpest political commentators there has ever been in the comics form." – Neil Gaiman