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Jules Feiffer
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Jules Feiffer
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Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, playwright, and screenwriter Jules Feiffer has created a remarkable career turning contemporary urban anxiety into witty and revealing commentary for over 50 years. From his Village Voice editorial cartoons to his plays and screenplays including Little Murders and Carnal Knowledge, Feiffer’s satirical outlook has helped define modern culture in political, sexual, and social terms.

Feiffer’s most recognizable illustrative work appears in the iconic children’s book, The Phantom Tollbooth that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Time placed the book at number nine in their list of the 100 best young adult books of all time, and documentary about the book and its creators premiered at The New Yorker festival in October 2013. His Village Voice comic strips ran for 42 years before he became the first cartoonist commissioned by The New York Times to create strips for their Op-Ed page in 1997. His strips, cartoons, and illustrations have also appeared in the Los Angeles TimesThe New YorkerEsquirePlayboy, and The Nation.

Feiffer published his first original graphic novel, Kill My Mother, in Summer 2014. Publishers Weekly called the book "an achievement of tremendous breadth and scope." His next book, Cousin Joseph, a prequel to Kill My Mother, was released in July 2016. 

He won a Pulitzer Prize and a George Polk Award for his cartoons; an Obie for his plays; an Academy Award for his animated short, Munro; and a Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Writers Guild of America. He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame, awarded the John Fischetti Lifetime Achievement Award, received the National Cartoonists Society's Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award, and was nominated for WGA Award for the screenplay for Carnal Knowledge

An adjunct professor at SUNY-Stony Brook Southampton, Feiffer teaches the course “Humor and Truth” and a class on graphic novels. He has taught at the Yale School of Drama, Northwestern University, Dartmouth, and Arizona State. His work has been honored at the New York Historical Society, the Library of Congress, and The School of Visual Arts.

Over the last decade, Feiffer has written and illustrated many books for children and young adults, including A Room with a Zoo, I'm Not Bobby!By The Side of the RoadMy Side of The CarThe Man in the Ceiling, soon to become a Broadway musical produced by Disney, as well as his 2010 memoir, Backing into ForwardOut of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer, a career-spanning retrospective of Feiffer's work, was published in May 2015. 

Full Bio >
  • Big Think Interview With Jules Feiffer (2012)
  • Jules Feiffer on Leonard Lopate show (2010)
  • Trailer for "The Phantom Tollbooth: Beyond Expecations" documentary (2013)
  • Jules Feiler on The Charlie Rose Show (2010)
  • Feiffer talks "The Phantom Tollbooth" at The New Yorker Festival (2013)
  • Feiffer on his early days (2013)
  • My Side of the Car (2011)
  • Jules Feiffer reflects on his memoirs with The Wall Street Journal (2010)
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Speaking Topics
Funny Side Up: An Evening with Jules Feiffer

Join artist and author Jules Feiffer in this humorous survey of cartoons focusing on politics, sex, families, and the rise of miscommunication as a social necessity and art form – all acted out with running commentary. Born into a world of newspaper strips and influenced by the new invention of the comic book, Feiffer applied his honed skills of visual humor and escapism in a more serious direction: writing and drawing satiric commentaries on present-day life. Kidnapping the comic strip to talk about themes discussed privately but seldom in public print, Feiffer became renowned for his sharp insight into the increasingly common use of language to hide, obscure, and manipulate meaning, rather than communicate. An evening of memories and laughs for all.

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Beyond Expectations: Life After The Phantom Tollbooth

In 1961, the life of cartoonist Jules Feiffer took an unexpected detour. In collaboration with writer Norton Juster, Feiffer’s adult sensibilities and drawing style crafted the world of The Phantom Tollbooth It’s now considered one of the greatest children’s books of all time.
But that wasn’t the end of the story. 
Feiffer’s inventiveness has thrived in the years since Tollbooth. Appearing in The Village VoiceThe Nation, and Esquire, Feiffer’s illustrations now reach audiences aged 10 and up. His remarkable story teaches us how to recognize our own creativity and how to use it; when to lean into life’s detours and rely on your own ingenuity. 

Read More >
Backing Into Success: How to Make Failure Work For You
My Life and Funny Times
Changing Course: Reinventing Yourself at Any Age
Books & Other Works
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Cousin Joseph
  • Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer
  • Kill My Mother
  • Backing Into Forward
  • The Man in the Ceiling
  • My Side of the Car
  • A Room With A Zoo
  • The House Across the Street
  • A Barrel of Laughs a Vale of Tears
  • By the Side of the Road
  • I Lost My Bear
  • The Daddy Mountain
  • Bark, George
  • Feiffer: The Collected Works
  • Meanwhile...
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“Jules Feiffer’s graphic novel is a tribute to film noir and detective fiction. The mere idea of anyone doing anything for the first time in his 80s, let alone demonstrating a breezy mastery of it, makes me want to join the exuberant jitterbug on the first page of this propulsive story. And Feiffer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist who has also written for stage and film, is particularly suited to this style. His kinetic line drawings unspool like an obscure film found during late-night channel surfing.

“Kill My Mother” is terrific.”
New York Times
“What a wonderful event . . . He showed our audience of 1500 great slides and told wonderful stories. They thanked him with a standing ovation.”
Central Library of Syracuse
“It was truly a pleasure having you on campus as part of our Distinguished Lecture Series. Your lecture, to a standing room only audience, gave a broader understanding to the development of the creative cartoonist Jules Feiffer. The crowd was in awe of your images and humor. Guests from the Savannah community commented that it was wonderful to meet an icon they had grown up reading. Our students left with inspiration and determination for their academic studies and their professional pursuits. Thank you for making this a memorable evening.”
Savannah College of Art and Design
“Feiffer's insights, successes (and failures) and stories, were wonderful. His impact was clearly evident. We were honored to have a genius like him in the room.”
Diversified Agency Services
“He tickled the audience's funny bone.”
JCC of Dallas
“Mr. Feiffer was a delight, and quite a thoughtful speaker. He delved into the cycles of recent American political history, and speaking with wit and precision, he characterized and caricatured the major political figures of our era.”
Lafayette College Easton, PA
“Jules Feiffer is a delightful person and his presentations here were well received. Thank you for bringing him to us.”
Rock Valley College
“The most astonishing plot twist in this hard-boiled musical melodrama chock-full of shifting identities and relationships involves seeing Jules Feiffer — the old master who reinvented the newspaper comic strip in the middle of the twentieth century — now reinvents himself as an ambitious young graphic novelist!”
Art Spiegelman
“Mr. Feiffer was wonderful and his talk (commencement) was well received.”
School of Visual Arts
“He was absolutely charming--easy--and, witty!”
South Bay Center for the Arts
“Well, Jules Feiffer was everything (and more) than we had hoped he'd be. His presentation was witty and enlightening. He was truly in his satirical element...The thousand subscribers in the audience were treated to a special inside view of his comic brilliance.”
JCC of Tidewater
“Multitalented Jules Feiffer has done it all. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, an Obie Award, among many others, he’s now turned his spectacular talent to a graphic novel. Nobody writes like Jules! Nobody draws like Jules! Nobody in their right mind would miss reading this monumental milestone of his incredible career!”
Stan Lee
“Just wanted to say thank you for sharing the incredible Jules Feiffer with us! He was witty and engaging and was so well received by our audience. They thoroughly enjoyed his cartoons especially when he took on the “voices“ of Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger. He is a delight to work with and easy to get in and out. He stayed a few extra days in Delray and I was honored to get to take him to dinner! He stayed at the reception until every book was signed and photo taken! He knows his stuff and fortunately for us, he was willing to share it!”
Delray Beach Center For The Arts
“Jules Feiffer was a great addition to our public program line-up. He was engaging, witty, and drew our audiences in with his stories, his images, and always his sense of humor. They found him “hilarious,” “excellent,” “remarkable,” “exceptional,” and “outstanding” – plus, he was a pleasure to work with.”
Vero Beach Museum of Art
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