Kill My Mother:  A Graphic Novel, Jules Feiffer 2014

Feiffer, an 89 year old winner of the Pulitzer Prize and an Oscar, is a versatile and talented cartoonist, playwright, screenwriter, children’s book writer and novelist, turns his skill to the graphic novel in this strange but fascinating tip of the hat to the noir novels of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.  The action begins in a fictional Bay City in 1933 and finishes ten years later in Hollywood and the Pacific island of Tawara where a USO troop featuring most of the main characters is appearing.  The graphics are also a tip of the hat to Milton Canniff’s Steve Canyon spread of the mid-20th C.  The story is complex and impossible to take seriously as Feiffer spins his satiric magic, but it’s a fun ride as surprise after surprise erupts as the novel comes to a close.