I was first introduced to Jules Feiffer’s work in college when my then-boyfriend (now-husband) informed me that The Phantom Tollbooth, illustrated by Feiffer, was one of his very favorite books and I should read it with all possible urgency. I loved Feiffer's artwork and have made it a point to keep an eye on him over the years.
He’s come out with two awesome (and wildly different) books in 2014: Rupert Can Dance, a children’s picture book about a cat who likes to break it down while his little girl sleeps, and Kill My Mother, a graphic novel inspired by the pulpy noir fiction and films of Feiffer’s childhood. I came by an advanced reading copy of the latter at a library conference in Indianapolis last March. The weather was below freezing, and a bunch of us librarians had to wait in the cold for a bus back to our hotel from the conference center. I pulled out Kill my Mother and totally forgot about how miserably cold I was as I fell into a Chandler-Hammett land peopled by thugs, starlets, crooners, and cross dressers. As soon as I finished the book I called my husband and informed him he had to read this book with all possible urgency. Turnabout is fair play!