The MAD Fold-In Collection: 1964-2010

[Video Link] Chronicle Books published this nice-looking collection of MAD's Fold-Ins.
Al Jaffee's fold-ins, on the inside back cover of virtually every issue of MAD Magazine since 1964, have become an icon of American humor. Generations have grown up with Jaffee's inspired skewerings of our foibles and cultural conundrums. Issue after issue, each Fold-in requires the reader to simply fold the page so that arrow A meets arrow B to reveal the hidden gag image, a simple idea that masks both undeniable artistic ingenuity and comic timing. In this deluxe four-volume set, each of the 410 fold-ins is reproduced at its original size, with a digital representation of the corresponding "folded" image on the following page (so collectors won't have to "fold" their book to get the jokes). Featuring insightful essays by such luminaries as Pixar's Pete Docter and humorist Jules Feiffer, The MAD Fold-In Collection is the definitive gift for the millions of fans who've grown up with MAD for nearly 60 years.
The MAD Fold-In Collection: 1964-2010



    1. The fact that they print both views, full page and folded-in version, doesn’t prevent people from folding the full page still if they wanted to.

  1. Agies, I agree. Part of the fun is the discovery of the hidden image as you fold it into place. I guess they assumed that people who are willing to pay $70+ for an art book aren’t willing to fold the pages.

  2. I loved MAD in the ’60s into the early’70s. I’m quite convinced my wry, sardonic sense of humor was the product of MAD, National Lampoon, Firesign Theater and the early seasons of SNL.

    Sadly, Mom tossed my MADs and NatLamps when I went off to college. I have never found it in my heart to forgive the old biddy. I owe that woman NOTHING.

    1. The video was made by the publisher but if you’re thinking that the publisher paid us to post it, you are mistaken.

  3. This is the most awful unboxing video ever, with just 15 seconds of actual content! You could have at least warned us to skip to 0:43. (But hey, I still want one of these!)

  4. It would have been nice if each page were pre scored so each fold in could actually be folded in. A missed opportunity.

  5. If they had made this in a way you could actually fold them I would have mortgaged my house to buy it at any price.  I have no interest at all in photos of the folded artwork.

  6. Guess I’ll have to buy the box set to get my satisfaction…My faith in BoingBoing is of course intact. To my knowledge you’re not all careering around in Lamborghinis on the back of fat-cat publishers.

  7. Why would they not print this with the fold ins on the RIGHT hand pages, and the image of the completed fold in on the following page so you can actually be surprised by it? This would also make the fold-ins fold the same way as they would have in the actual magazine.

    I can’t see any line of reasoning that would make the arrangement they actually chose preferable.

    1. “I can’t see any line of reasoning that would make the arrangement they actually chose preferable.”

      Other than the fact that people read from left to right?

      1. I’m suggesting they hide the finished fold-in the opposite side of the page the original is printed on. I don’t see what that has to do with reading left to right.

        Maybe other people wouldn’t have this problem but even in the video I found it incredibly hard not to have an image in my mind of the completed fold-in before looking at the original.

        Comic artists tend to know enough that if you have a big reveal, the reader must turn the page to see it, it’s not printed on a right hand page after you’ve read the left.

        1. I get what you’re saying in that the surprise of the reveal might be spoiled by having the two images on facing pages. But all things considered, I’m glad they did it this way because it makes it easier to compare the folded/unfolded pictures. (And if you really want to preserve the surprise, you can always use a sheet of paper or something to cover up the right side page while reading.)

          1. Yeah, after the shock of seeing something so cool and then being disappointed by how they implemented it, I was able to imagine an upside to the way they did it, and that’ s exactly it. For the annoyance of having to be careful the first time, it would be nice to be able to see both versions side by side.

            Given my druthers though, I would print the book without the folded versions at all.

  8. I still have my 1950’s and early 60’s issues- even the Mad paperbacks which pre-dated the magazine (brilliant).  But I read them until the pages were completely worn out.  I studied them like the bible!  

    Anyone remember “Arthur”, the potted plant?

  9. I agree with the gang of idiots here– it’s LAME that the way Chronicle has printed it, it’s nearly impossible to actually fold them.
    And printing the folded version right next to the unfolded version is also LAME. That’s like printing comics with the panels out of order, or telling the punch line to joke first. Oy, so wrong.And the demo video is also LAME. What, they could’na gotten the rights to use “She’s Got a Nose Job”?–or do a new, original instrumental version…?

  10. I used to love that page when I was a kid. Once I knew how it worked, I’d try to visualize the ‘punchline’ before folding the page. Kind of like trying to do the “Jumble” in your head.
    Is there anything like Mad today? I best liked how the grownups who made it let me in on it, and they were a “gang of idiots”, and were just as confused by the world as I was. And they showed me/us a way to cope. Heady stuff for a young person.

  11. This man, along with S.E. Hinton, got me through puberty.  I vaguely remember that many of the fold-ins revealed boobies, which was like bonus!  and loved those snappy answers!

    Anybody know if he had kids, esp. one who’s an MD?

  12. I too would be more interested in this if they had actually hands on fold in. That’s half the fun of the those. 

  13. I was a huge MAD fanatic as a kid, and my delight in it was compounded when I discovered my father’s MAD collection in my Grandmother’s attic. Sadly, it was all ruined when my basement in Brooklyn flooded (damn you Mother Nature! I owe you nothing!). However, thanks to my daughter, I can tell you that the current MAD TV show does hold some honest roots in the concept of the magazine (and early comic to some degree). Unlike the MAD TV skit show, which didn’t really connect (although I liked on it’s own merits in the early days), the current show is more about satire and public mocking. It’s still somewhat different, but feels very much in the same jugular vein. It doesn’t have the superb illustration that the mag had, but the writing is pretty smart. I really enjoy it.

  14. Why didn’t they just pre-score the pages, making it idiot proof to fold and not otherwise damage anything. The suggestion by timmowarner was a good one too.

  15. I like that there’s no folding! It appeals to the “never take it out of the bag” comic nerd in me. To me folding a Mad magazine from the 50’s would be like wiping your fingers on the constitution. 

  16. Why didn’t they just print it with a gate fold crease in the paper. Would have made a much more interesting book – and more expensive.

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