At some point in their lives, most GeekDads have come across the satirical Mad magazine, and have probably creased up the back cover while reading Mad Fold-Ins. The creator and artist of those Fold-Ins, Al Jaffee, turns 95 today.
For those not hip to Mad, the Fold-In would typically include a near full-page image drawn by Jaffee, along with a typed paragraph explaining the picture. About two inches in on either side of the page were two tabs marked A and B; join the tabs together by folding the page, and a whole new image and message would appear. In an age when virtually everything else can translate online, the Mad Fold-In is a beloved reminder of one of the advantages of physical media.
Jaffee worked as a comic book and strip artist for various publications before joining the staff of Mad magazine in 1955. After working on Mad for 61 years, it’s incredible that Jaffee is still the creator and artist of Fold-Ins. He’s currently the magazine’s longest-running contributor, a record not likely to be broken in the future. He won the Reuben Award in 2008, was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame in 2013, and will receive the Medal of Honor from the National Cartoonists Society next month.
Truly a remarkable career from one of the usual gang of idiots. Happy birthday, Mr. Jaffee!
Click on the thumbnails to see some of Jaffee’s artwork below.