34 Facts About Al Jaffee


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


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


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


Al Jaffee was born March 13,1921, in Savannah, Georgia, to Mildred and Morris Jaffee, the eldest of four sons.


Al Jaffee's mother was described as devoutly religious, to the point she had the crucifixes removed from the hospital room before giving birth.


Al Jaffee became known for his ability to trace figures like Little Orphan Annie in the sand, for the amusement of his friends as well as the local bullies.


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 of Marvel Comics.


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


Al Jaffee served in the US Army during World War II, where he worked as an artist for the military in various capabilities.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


When editor Harvey Kurtzman left in a dispute three issues later, Al Jaffee went with Kurtzman.


Al Jaffee contributed to Kurtzman's first two post-Mad publishing efforts, Trump and the creator-owned Humbug, though both were much less successful than Mad.


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.


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


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


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


Al Jaffee announced in June 2020 that he would be retiring.


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


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


When designing his Mad Fold-Ins, Al Jaffee started with the finished "answer" to the Fold-In, and then spread it apart and placed 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.


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.


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


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


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.


In October 2013, Columbia University announced that Al Jaffee had donated most of his archives to the college.


On March 30,2016, it was officially declared that Al Jaffee had "the longest career as a comics artist" at "73 years, 3 months" by Guinness World Records.


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


Al Jaffee hired him from 1970 to 1977 to do his background detail and lettering.


Al Jaffee died of organ failure on April 10,2023, at a Manhattan hospital.