Monday, March 15, 2010

Nobody Wanted Me Respectable

Jules Feiffer talks about his inability to become a mainstream hack in a 2009 interview with

"There was no way of doing what I was doing in the mainstream. The mainstream was not interested in anyone with my opinions and certainly anyone working in the form I did. No one was working in the form I was working in at that time except me. I made up that form to fit the direction I was moving in. "
"I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew what I had to do. I knew I needed an outlet for my political rage and I knew that in this time -- but it’s true of any time -- in this particular time of suppression, I had to be entertaining. I had to be funny. It couldn’t be a polemic. It couldn’t be, as one sees in alternative forms today, confessional moralizing. It had to in a sense be disguised as something else in order to make the point I wanted to make and also fit the talents that I had begun to learn at Will Eisner’s."
"So at the start -- and “Munro” was the start -- I started fooling with a form which was essentially narrative and long, and such things generally weren’t published. And it told what were considered subversive stories at the time if someone really got the point. And so I knew I was entering foolishly in terms of making a living, or in terms of a potential career, this field with no outlets at all. There was no books publisher, there were no comics publishers. There were no newspapers. And I tried all over. By the time I was trying this I had tried the more conventional routes. I had tried very hard to be a hack. I had tried very hard to have a traditional career. No one was interested in me doing that. When I went for broke I wasn’t risking anything. Nobody wanted me. Nobody wanted me respectable. "