Yesterday was the official 90th birthday of one of the great, great cartoonists of the 20th (and 21st) century. Mr. Fold-in, Mr. Snappy-Answers-to-Stupid-Questions, and Mr. Inventions-We-Need is still at work, still supplying art for Mad Magazine every issue, after more than fifty years of doing so. And like the genius he is, they’re still as beautiful as they’ve always been.
I always like Jaffee’s self portrait. It’s as iconic as as Alfred E. himself.
The usual gang of idiots is celebrating the birthday of the master with a collection of amazing cards, gifts and b-day wishes for the Sensei today (at least it was today, the last I heard about it). Though I can’t be there to see it happen, I’ve contributed a card to this meshuga. You guys will get to see it eventually, but I’m saving it to show off here until AFTER the party for the Master of Madness has finished off, and Mr. Jaffee has his fun.
In the meantime, here’s a Jaffee fact most of you don’t know: He started his career at Marvel, editing and drawing MILLIE THE MODEL, PATSY WALKER and others in the “girl’s line” of Timely back in the 40s.
Personally, I first encounter the genius of Jaffee with a Snappy Answer to a Stupid Question feature in a Mad from the late 60s. The book pictured below is a treasure from my childhood that I have held onto since I was about ten years old…
So happy 90th birthday, Al. There’s no exaggeration in saying you are one of the bedrock DNA influences on my career, and I’ll never get over the idea that I sometimes get to contribute to the magazine you helped make a household word and a national treasure. I sincerely hope I’ll be seeing you in the pages of Mad Magazine as long they still let us print it on trees. It wouldn’t be the same without you.
With genuine love,
Ty the Guy OUT!
Here now, your Al Jaffee comic book moment: