12 August 2009
Jules Feiffer: THE GREAT COMIC BOOK HEROES
In case you're especially slow to pick up on things, I like to read comic books. Yep, I know: who would've ever guessed it (answer: most people, sorry)? So did famed Village Voice cartoonist Jules Feiffer, only he wrote a book about it, whereas I only tend to mention it in passing on an obscure and pretty much entirely unread blog. Point is, he's legit, and I liked his book, The Great Comic Book Heroes. It's actually got a kind of misleading title; much more accurate would've been Jules Feiffer Reminisces About Reading Comic Books When He Was a Child, although that doesn't have quite the same ring to it. The book's short, and more autobiographical than anything else (although Feiffer does sidle into social commentary every now and then, and briefly into something that one might even describe as psychology), consisting mostly of reflections on what it was like reading a particular comic book rather than reflections on that comic book itself. Case in point: Feiffer mentions liking Hawkman, and talks about that for a little bit, using it as a lauching pad to talking about something else, but pretty much sums up Hawkman in, well, a single sentence (if I had the book here, I'd let you know just what that sentence was, but I don't; it had something to do with his being an Egyptian-tinged Superman knockoff, though). Did I agree with all of Feiffer's assessments? No, not at all. But I enjoyed reading every one, and that, I suppose, is what counts. So, let's say a B for this one.