The Twisted Genius of George Feyer

Posted on 06. Mar, 2015 by in Uncategorized

George Feyer was inducted into the Giants of the North Hall of Fame way back in 2006, our second year. Tony Feyer, his son, traveled from New York City to accept the honour for his father, and I was lucky enough to grab a drink and talk with him after the ceremony. I’ve been obsessed ever since.

George's son, Anthony Feyer, accepts the Gianst of the North medal on behalf of his father at the 2nd annual Wright Awards in Toronto

George’s son, Anthony Feyer, accepts the Giants of the North medal on behalf of his father at the 2nd annual Wright Awards in Toronto

Born Gyorgy Feyer into a privileged Hungarian Jewish family in 1921 he lived through both Fascist and Nazi regimes, experienced the brutality of the Siege of Budapest first-hand, then emigrated to Canada where he made his irreverent mark in the mid-century Toronto arts and culture scene. He became best friends with Pierre Berton, socialized with Marshall McLuhan, June Callwood and Peter Munk, and rose to fame and fortune as a cartoonist and popular TV performer. Yet despite his out-sized talents and abundant potential Feyer ended up dying  in Hollywood at the too-young age of 47.

Two years ago Canada’s History magazine contacted me and asked me to pitch some story ideas about a Canadian cartoonist. I sent them three, but I knew as I was preparing them that Feyer was the only choice. Next to him the others didn’t stand a chance. His talent was soaring and years ahead of its time, and his sad, solitary end — he was found dead in his apartment, owned by the ex-wife of James Mason — was a heartbreaking punctuation to a life lived large.

Page One

That was two years ago. After nine months of research and interviews, and another nine months of writing, I filed my piece on Feyer. “The Twisted Genius of George Feyer” appears in the April/May 2015 issue of Canada’s History Magazine. You can buy a copy, or download the PDF below. At the risk of sounding like a braggart, I think it’s an important chapter in the history of 20th century comics in Canada — plus it’s just a great story. So you owe it to yourself to check it out. (Brad Mackay)CHM_Genius of George Feyer_FINAL


Comments are closed.