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Artist, writer Jules Feiffer to discuss his work

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009, 4:30 p.m. · Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

Jules Feiffer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, playwright, children's book author, illustrator and teacher, will discuss his work at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

The event is sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts' Performance Central program.

Feiffer's political cartoon strip, first called "Sick Sick Sick" and then "Feiffer," ran for more than 40 years in the Village Voice. He also was the first cartoonist commissioned by The New York Times to create comic strips for its op-ed page.

Roberta Smith of The New York Times described Feiffer's cartoons as "Daumier mixed with substantial doses of Calder, Giacometti, Walt Disney, Philip Roth and Lenny Bruce. His were certainly not the first cartoons for grown-ups, but they may have been the first to chart the erratic inner life of emerging counterculture urban American adulthood in all its childish splendor, mood swings, narcissism, self-hate and alienation."
In addition to his cartoons, Feiffer's widely celebrated work includes the Obie-winning play "Little Murders"; the screenplay "Carnal Knowledge"; the Academy Award-winning anti-military satire "Munro"; the Tony nominee "Knock Knock"; the Pulitzer nominee "Grown-Ups," and screenplays for "Popeye" and "I Want to Go Home," winner at the Venice Film Festival. Feiffer reinvented himself as a children's author with the award-winning "Bark George" and "I Lost My Bear." He also is the illustrator of "The Phantom Tollbooth" and the writer/illustrator of "The Man in the Ceiling," soon to become a Broadway musical produced by Walt Disney Co.
Feiffer has received lifetime achievement awards from the Writers Guild of America and the National Cartoonist Society and has been honored with major retrospectives at the New York Historical Society, the Library of Congress and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has taught at the Yale School of Drama, Northwestern University and Dartmouth College and currently is teaching at Stony Brook University.
Commenting on his work, Feiffer said, "The whole point to drawing was to make it up out of your own imagination. ... Cartooning was supposed to be fun. If it couldn't be fun, why do it?" Feiffer's forthcoming memoir, "Backing Into Forward," relates how persistent failure inspired him to reinvent himself as an artist over and over.

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