26 Facts About Al Jaffee


Al Jaffee is notable for his work in the satirical magazine Mad, including his trademark feature, the Mad Fold-in.

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Al Jaffee was a regular contributor to the magazine for 65 years and is its longest-running contributor.

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In 2008, Al Jaffee was honored by the Reuben Awards as the Cartoonist of the Year.

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Al Jaffee's father had a management job at a department store in Savannah.

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Al Jaffee began his career in 1942, working as a comic-book artist for several publications, including Joker Comics, in which he was first published in December 1942, and continuing in other comics published by Timely Comics and Atlas Comics, the 1940s and 1950s precursors, respectively, of Marvel Comics.

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Al Jaffee originally considered himself strictly as an artist until he was disabused of the notion by editors and art directors who were reviewing his portfolio.

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Al Jaffee's work included the original floor plan for the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.

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In 1946, Al Jaffee returned to civilian life, working for Stan Lee again.

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From 1957 to 1963, Al Jaffee drew the elongated Tall Tales panel for the New York Herald Tribune, which was syndicated to over 100 newspapers.

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Al Jaffee scripted the short-lived strips Debbie Deere and Jason in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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Since 1984, Al Jaffee has provided illustrations for "The Shpy, " a lighthearted Jewish-themed adventure feature in Tzivos Hashem's bimonthly children's publication The Moshiach Times.

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Al Jaffee first appeared in Mad in 1955, one issue after its transformation from comic book format to magazine.

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Al Jaffee contributed to Kurtzman's first two post-Mad publishing efforts, Trump and the creator-owned Humbug.

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Originally, Al Jaffee intended it as a one-shot "cheap" satire of the triple fold-outs that were appearing in glossy magazines such as Playboy, National Geographic and Life.

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Al Jaffee had prepared it six years in advance, to be published after his own death.

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Al Jaffee uses a computer only for typographic maneuvers to make certain Fold-In tricks easier to design and he typically takes two weeks to sketch and finalize an image.

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Until 2019, Al Jaffee continued to do the Fold-In for Mad, as well as additional artwork for articles.

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Mad's oldest regular contributor, Al Jaffee's work appeared in 500 of the magazine's first 550 issues, a total unmatched by any other writer or artist.

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Al Jaffee has contributed to hundreds of Mad articles as either a writer or an artist and often both.

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Al Jaffee thinks that way because he is not only an artist, but a technician as well.

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When designing his Mad Fold-Ins, Al Jaffee starts with the finished "answer" to the Fold-In, and then spreads it apart and places a piece of tracing paper over it in order to fill in the center "throw-away" aspect of the image, which is covered up when the page is folded over, using regular pencil at this stage.

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Al Jaffee won the National Cartoonists Society Advertising and Illustration Award for 1973, its Special Features Award for 1971 and 1975, and its Humor Comic Book Award for 1979.

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In October 2011 Al Jaffee was presented with the Sergio Award at a banquet in his honor from the Comic Art Professional Society.

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In July 2013, during the San Diego Comic-Con, Al Jaffee was one of six inductees into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame.

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Al Jaffee, who worked for Eisner in his studio for one of his earliest jobs, was not present during the convention, and the award was accepted by Mad Art Director Sam Viviano, who presented it to Al Jaffee at a later date.

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Al Jaffee married Ruth Ahlquist in 1945; they had two children, Richard and Debbie.

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