Roger Rosenblatt, writing for The New York Times about the genesis of his and Jules Feiffer‘s new book Cataract Blues, reveals that Jules is suffering from macular degeneration.
A few years ago, I began having trouble with my vision. Shapes became indistinct, colors muted. The world started to look like a grainy 1940s movie mystery, and I was the detective — a clumsy one.
Eventually diagnosed with cataracts, I went to see an ophthalmologist, Charles Cole, for treatment.
Collaborating with Jules on a book about failing eyesight Roger reveals:
… the book was illustrated by my lifelong friend Jules Feiffer, a legendary cartoonist who, now 94 years old, is having vision problems of his own — ones much worse and much less treatable than mine, I’m afraid. Jules has advancing macular degeneration, which has progressed to a point called wet macular, when the eyes’ blood vessels swell and one can see only out of the corners of their eyes. The only way he can see what he is drawing is by turning his head from side to side. Beyond that, he sees with his limitless imagination.
Roger goes on to describe how Jules created his drawings for their book.
More from Roger:
As I worked on the book, my vision dramatically improved. I no longer tripped when I walked. And I found myself overcome by blues — the robin’s egg blue of the sky out my window, the blue denim of the East River. At the same time, Jules’s vision steadily worsened. But his drawings remained gorgeous as ever.