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Jules Feiffer, one of the best cartoonists alive, just turned 81 and published Backing into Forward: A Memoir. Feiffer’s best-known comic strip was Sick, Sick, Sick (later retitled Feiffer), an unrelenting satire of American life and politics that ran in the Village Voice for more than 40 years. Feiffer grappled with the anomie of the ’50s, the unrest of the ’60s and ’70s, and the mindless complacency of the ’80s. He attacked Johnson over the Vietnam War, and Nixon and Reagan over everything. Feiffer’s artwork was sketchy but elegant—he conveyed his ideas in simple lines—and he frequently drew dancers. Doonesbury certainly would not exist without Feiffer’s ground-breaking work, and he’s proved there’s life after the Voice, which dropped him in 1997: He’s since written several works of fiction for children and adults.
FEIFFER READS FROM HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY AT 4 P.M. AT POLITICS & PROSE, 5015 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919.