Mad Magazine Cartoonist Al Jaffee Passed Away Aged 102
Legendary cartoonist Al Jaffee passed away on Monday, April 10, 2023. He reportedly died of multiple organ failure in a Manhattan hospital.
Jaffee held the world record for the longest-running career as a comic artist. He was known for his work on the satirical magazine Mad.
A long-time admirer and friend wrote a heartwrenching tribute to the late artist. “Any debate about the greatest cartoonist of all time that does not include Al Jaffee is not a legitimate debate,” fellow American illustrator Tom Richmond wrote.
Richmond, who also worked at Mad, said that getting to know Jaffee was one of the highlights of his time with the magazine.
“He was a humble genius who was simply a delight to be around. He was just like his cartoons… genuinely funny, charming, and sharp-witted,” Richmond added.
The artist regularly contributed to the famous magazine for 65 years and was well known for creating the Fold-In cartoon.
This was a technique that unveiled new images when the reader would fold the drawing vertically and inward.
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Cartoonist Al Jaffee Passed Away at 102
Mad Magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee passed away at the age of 102 according to his granddaughter, Fani Thomson. The artist retired at the age of 99.
Tributes to the legendary artist poured out on social media as fans remembered his amazing body of work that always included a shiny piece of his personality.
“We have lost one of the greatest cartoonists of all time. An absolute legend, who contributed to Mad Magazine for 65 years,” one fan said on Twitter.
Another fan wrote: “The Fold-In is a genuine piece of American art and the concept will outlive his already long-lived life.”
“The humor of several generations was shaped by his work,” a heartbroken fan tweeted.
The Fold-In was intended to be a cheap play on lux triple fold-outs that were presented in magazines like National Geographic and Playboy.
In 1964, Al created his first one with no intention of repeating the process again. However, Al Feldstein approached Jaffee four or five weeks later and asked for the next one, Jaffee told The Boston Phoenix.
“I wracked my brain, and the only thing I could come up with was Nixon [whose face was hidden within curtain folds]” Al told the outlet.
“That one really set the tone for what the cleverness of the Fold-Ins has to be. It couldn’t just be bringing someone from the left to kiss someone on the right.”
Jaffee would go on to design Fold-Ins until 2020 when he announced his retirement in a Mad issue dedicated to the artist.
Jaffee is survived by his two children, Deborah Fishman and Richard Jaffee; two step-children, Jody and Tracey Revenson; five grandchildren; one step-granddaughter; and three great-grandchildren.
Although fans are still trying to find John Regan’s cause of death, sources revealed that the acclaimed rock bassist breathed his last on April 7, 2023. May he rest in peace.