Al Jaffee: American record-breaking comic artist dead

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American record-setting comic artist, Allan Jaffee, born Abraham Jaffee but known professionally as Al Jaffee has died at the age of 102. He died on Monday, April 10, 2023, in Manhattan, New York.

In a career spanning decades, Al Jaffee is known for his work in humour magazines such as Mad, Trump and Humbug, especially the former where he has been a contributor for 65 years. Al Jaffee is the Guinness record holder for the longest career as a comic artist. He has been described by veteran cartoonist Arnold Roth as, “…one of the great cartoonists of our time”.

The veteran cartoonist who had been contributing to Mad Magazine until his retirement three years before his demise started his career with Joker Comics in 1942. With Mad, he pioneered the magazine’s “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” and the Mad fold-in, the inside back page of the magazine that when folded turned one work into another previously hidden image.

Al Jaffee - cartoonist

Al Jaffee speaks about his career.

In 2016, he told the Guardian about his journey as a cartoonist and how it started. “Well, I got started with comics a century ago – it seems that way, anyway. I think it was 1941. It was shortly after I graduated high school and I’d been playing around with ideas for a syndicated comic strip or a comic book, and comic books were just getting to be very big at that time.

Adding that he “…thought I’d create a funny comic book idea and I did, and I brought it up to the legendary Stan Lee, who was only a 19-year-old kid editor at the time…He liked my work and I guess he was so new at it he wasn’t sure of himself, but he picked up a script, threw it at me and said, ‘If you can do this, you can work for me’.”

Mad Magazine’s to Al Jaffee

Mad Magazine, the place where he had spent nearly his entire career working paid tribute to their late star. “MAD Magazine mourns the loss of the incomparable Al Jaffee, creator of the MAD Fold-In, “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,” and many other MAD features through the decades. A humble and kind creator, Al’s presence, his astute social commentary, and his endless amusement at life’s ups and downs shaped the fabric of the magazine.”

DC pays tribute to Al Jaffee

Meanwhile, DC has also shared its tribute to the late cartoonist in a post shared on Twitter. “DC and the staff at MAD Magazine are heartbroken by the passing of the legendary artist Al Jaffee. Al was MAD Magazine’s longest-running contributor, creator of the MAD Fold-In, and a charter member of ‘The Usual Gang of Idiots.’ His signature style and wit will be MADly missed.”

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