A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears

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9780062059260: A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears

‘Prince Roger sets out eagerly on a quest and finds a few adventures, a lot of friends, a damsel or two in distress (not!) and himself, in the end. A ‘carrier of joy’ whose mere presence causes everyone to laugh uncontrollably, Roger finds cruelty and kindness equally amusing, and expects his quest to be a lark. It’s anything but: As Roger passes through the Forever Forest, nearly starves at the Dastardly Divide, sees people at their worst in the Valley of Vengeance, and temporarily despairs in the Mountains of Malice, he sobers up, learns to care for others, becomes an expert peacemaker, does Good Deeds, and falls in love with Lady Sadie, who says what she thinks as she repeatedly saves his bacon.’—K. ‘Feiffer’s worldly-wise, confiding tone and sense of the absurd are highly congenial, and the drawings are a vintage Feiffer delight.’—Publishers Weekly.

100 Books for Reading and Sharing 1995 (NY Public Library)

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Review:

Jules Feiffer won hearts and a whole new audience when he leapt from the realm of cartooning to create books. His The Man in the Ceiling, the story of Jimmy the boy cartoonist, was a boisterous calling for us to believe in our dreams. In A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears Feiffer gives us more help in understanding our dreams: If we don't end up where we think we're going in life, maybe we're better off somewhere else--like where we are now. He introduces us to Roger, a prince with such a sense of humor that the king's wizard sends him on a quest to sober him up a bit. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) the quest backfires: Roger enters the Forever Forest, traipses over the Dastardly Divide, and ventures downward into the Valley of Vengeance only to find himself on an entirely different quest than the one the wizard sent him on. Lucky for us, Feiffer's cartooning experience makes him an adventurous author, and he takes us on the ride of our lives, complete with timely asides, wizened wisecracks, silly drawings of characters walking in and out of the story, and more. A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears will give people of all ages (especially rowdy teenagers who sneak comic books to classes) a barrel of laughs and a wallop of wisdom!

About the Author:

Jules Feiffer has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays, including the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. His books for children include The Man in the Ceiling, A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears, I Lost My Bear, Bark, George, and Meanwhile... He lives in New York City. In His Own Words...

"I have been writing and drawing comic strips all illy life, first as a six-year-old, when I'd try to draw like my heroes: Alex Raymond, who did Flash Gordon, E. C. Segar, who did Popeye, Milton Caniff, who did Terry and the Pirates. The newspaper strip back in the I 1940s was a glorious thing to behold. Sunday pages were full-sized and Colored broadsheets that created a universe that could swallow a boy whole.

"I was desperate to be a cartoonist. One of my heroes was Will Eisner, who did a weekly comic book supplement to the Sunday comics. One day I walked into his office and showed him my samples. He said they were lousy, but lie hired me anyway. And I began my apprenticeship.

"Later I was drafted Out of Eisner's office into tile Korean War. Militarism, regimentation, and mindless authority combined to squeeze the boy cartoonist Out Of me and bring out the rebel. There was no format at the time to fit [he work I raged and screamed to do, so I had to invent one. Cartoon satire that commented on the Lin military the Bomb, the Cold War, the hypocrisy of grownLIPS, the mating habits of urban Young men and women, these were my subjects. After four years of trying to break into print and getting nowhere, the Village Voice, the first alternative newspaper, offered to publish me. Only one catch: They couldn't Pay me. What (lid I care?

"My weekly satirical strip, Sick Sick Sick, later renamed Feiffer started appearing in late 1956. Two years later, Sick Sick Sick came out in book form and became a bestseller. The following years saw a string of cartoon collections, syndication, stage and screen adaptations of the cartoon. One, Munro, won an Academy Award.

"This was heady stuff, taking me miles beyond my boyhood dreams. The only thing that got in the way of my enjoying it was the real world. The Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights revolution. The country was coining unglued and my weekly cartoons didn't seem to be an adequate way of handling it. So I started writing plays: Little Murders, The White House Murder Case, Carnal Knowledge, Grownups. All the themes of my comic strips expanded theatrically and later, cinematically to give me the time and space I needed to explain the times to myself and to my audience.

"I grew older. I had a family, and late in life, a very young family. I started thinking, as old guys will, about what I wanted these children to read, to learn. I read them E.B. White and Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl, and, one day, I thought, I ley, I can do this."

"Writing for young readers connects me profess sionally to) a part of myself that I didn't know how to let out until I was sixty: that kid who lived a life of innocence, mixed with confusion and consternation, disappointment and dopey humor. And who drew comic strips and needed friends--and found them--in cartoons and children's books that told him what the grown-ups in his life had left out. That's what reading (lid for me when I was a kid. Now, I try to return the favor."



Jules Feiffer has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays, including the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. His books for children include The Man in the Ceiling, A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears, I Lost My Bear, Bark, George, and Meanwhile... He lives in New York City. In His Own Words...

"I have been writing and drawing comic strips all illy life, first as a six-year-old, when I'd try to draw like my heroes: Alex Raymond, who did Flash Gordon, E. C. Segar, who did Popeye, Milton Caniff, who did Terry and the Pirates. The newspaper strip back in the I 1940s was a glorious thing to behold. Sunday pages were full-sized and Colored broadsheets that created a universe that could swallow a boy whole.

"I was desperate to be a cartoonist. One of my heroes was Will Eisner, who did a weekly comic book supplement to the Sunday comics. One day I walked into his office and showed him my samples. He said they were lousy, but lie hired me anyway. And I began my apprenticeship.

"Later I was drafted Out of Eisner's office into tile Korean War. Militarism, regimentation, and mindless authority combined to squeeze the boy cartoonist Out Of me and bring out the rebel. There was no format at the time to fit [he work I raged and screamed to do, so I had to invent one. Cartoon satire that commented on the Lin military the Bomb, the Cold War, the hypocrisy of grownLIPS, the mating habits of urban Young men and women, these were my subjects. After four years of trying to break into print and getting nowhere, the Village Voice, the first alternative newspaper, offered to publish me. Only one catch: They couldn't Pay me. What (lid I care?

"My weekly satirical strip, Sick Sick Sick, later renamed Feiffer started appearing in late 1956. Two years later, Sick Sick Sick came out in book form and became a bestseller. The following years saw a string of cartoon collections, syndication, stage and screen adaptations of the cartoon. One, Munro, won an Academy Award.

"This was heady stuff, taking me miles beyond my boyhood dreams. The only thing that got in the way of my enjoying it was the real world. The Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights revolution. The country was coining unglued and my weekly cartoons didn't seem to be an adequate way of handling it. So I started writing plays: Little Murders, The White House Murder Case, Carnal Knowledge, Grownups. All the themes of my comic strips expanded theatrically and later, cinematically to give me the time and space I needed to explain the times to myself and to my audience.

"I grew older. I had a family, and late in life, a very young family. I started thinking, as old guys will, about what I wanted these children to read, to learn. I read them E.B. White and Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl, and, one day, I thought, I ley, I can do this."

"Writing for young readers connects me profess sionally to) a part of myself that I didn't know how to let out until I was sixty: that kid who lived a life of innocence, mixed with confusion and consternation, disappointment and dopey humor. And who drew comic strips and needed friends--and found them--in cartoons and children's books that told him what the grown-ups in his life had left out. That's what reading (lid for me when I was a kid. Now, I try to return the favor."

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Prince Roger sets out eagerly on a quest and finds a few adventures, a lot of friends, a damsel or two in distress (not!) and himself, in the end. A carrier of joy whose mere presence causes everyone to laugh uncontrollably, Roger finds cruelty and kindness equally amusing, and expects his quest to be a lark. It s anything but: As Roger passes through the Forever Forest, nearly starves at the Dastardly Divide, sees people at their worst in the Valley of Vengeance, and temporarily despairs in the Mountains of Malice, he sobers up, learns to care for others, becomes an expert peacemaker, does Good Deeds, and falls in love with Lady Sadie, who says what she thinks as she repeatedly saves his bacon. --K. Feiffer s worldly-wise, confiding tone and sense of the absurd are highly congenial, and the drawings are a vintage Feiffer delight. --Publishers Weekly. 100 Books for Reading and Sharing 1995 (NY Public Library). Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780062059260

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Prince Roger sets out eagerly on a quest and finds a few adventures, a lot of friends, a damsel or two in distress (not!) and himself, in the end. A carrier of joy whose mere presence causes everyone to laugh uncontrollably, Roger finds cruelty and kindness equally amusing, and expects his quest to be a lark. It s anything but: As Roger passes through the Forever Forest, nearly starves at the Dastardly Divide, sees people at their worst in the Valley of Vengeance, and temporarily despairs in the Mountains of Malice, he sobers up, learns to care for others, becomes an expert peacemaker, does Good Deeds, and falls in love with Lady Sadie, who says what she thinks as she repeatedly saves his bacon. --K. Feiffer s worldly-wise, confiding tone and sense of the absurd are highly congenial, and the drawings are a vintage Feiffer delight. --Publishers Weekly. 100 Books for Reading and Sharing 1995 (NY Public Library). Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780062059260

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