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Al Jaffee profiled in New York Times

Al Jaffee, the MAD Magazine cartoonist who draws the MAD Fold-In and one of this year’s Reuben Award nominees has been profiled by the New York Times.

An excerpt:

So Mr. Jaffee became a writer-artist. And in 1964 he had an idea. Playboy, Life and other magazines had their lavish color fold-outs, so Mad, he thought, should parody them with a cheap black-and-white fold-in.

“That was the one-time gag,” he said. But he was sure Al Feldstein, the editor, and William M. Gaines, the publisher, wouldn’t go for it. “I said: ‘I have this idea, I think it’s a funny idea, but I know you’re not going to buy it. But I’m going to show it to you anyway. And you’re not going to buy it because it mutilates the magazine.’ “

They bought it, and then they asked for another. And today you could teach a pretty good course in modern American history just using Mr. Jaffee’s fold-ins. June 1970: “Who is fast becoming our all-time top comic character?” A collage of every cartoon figure you can think of folds into one big Spiro Agnew. July 1968: “What is the one thing most school dropouts are sure to become?” A picture of teenagers at an employment center folds into a piece of artillery with a kid stuffed in it, and the answer: “Cannon fodder.”

Community Comments

#1 Dave Brousseau
March/31/2008
@ 3:48 pm

It was an excellent profile. Hard to believe he’s still painting at 87, and doing such a tremendous job. I also highly recommend the interactive feature, that lets you “fold in” some past favorites, right on your monitor.

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