Books Lunch Date: The Explainers
posted by May 14 at 12:00 PMon
(A few times a week, I take a new book with me to lunch and give it a half an hour or so to grab my attention. Lunch Date is my judgment on that speed-dating experience.)
Who’s your date today? The Explainers, by Jules Feiffer.
Where’d you go? Phuket, on lower Queen Anne.
What’d you eat? I had the lunch combo $8.99, which is rice, salad, and any two Thai food combos. I went with the green curry and the Phad Kee Mao
How was the food? It was pretty damn good. The wide rice noodles were cooked just right, the vegetables were fresh, and I really liked being able to order two types of Thai food at once. It’s the kind of option that you usually only get at bad Chinese places, but everything at Phuket was made to order. The sauces were a tad too sweet, but on the whole it’s a good Thai lunch counter. I ordered medium and there was virtually no spice; heat-seekers might want to aim high.
What does your date say about itself? This is volume one of Fantagraphics’ new chronological collection of Feiffer’s complete Village Voice strips. This volume collects 1956 through 1966.
Is there a representative quote?
Will you two end up in bed together? I’m marrying the fucker. I’ve always said that Feiffer’s cartoons are like Schulz’s Peanuts all grown up, and this collection is going to wind up on the same shelf that I reserve for Fantagraphics’ gorgeous Complete Peanuts collections. The surprising part is that most of these cartoons have aged incredibly well—though Feiffer worked on a tiny deadline for most of his early career, these strips still seem fresh and neurotic and crazy as ever. If I were to have one complaint—and I always have at least one complaint—it’s that I don’t like the neon orange on the cover. But this book is just about as perfect a collection of comics as you’ll ever find.