New biography of MAD editor Al Feldstein

Al Feldstein began working at EC comics, publishers of Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, and The Haunt of Fear in 1948. Soon he became editor of most of EC's titles. He typically wrote and illustrated a story in each title and drew many of the covers, a mind-bogglingly prolific output. Eventually he stopped doing the art for stories and stuck with editing, writing, and cover illustrations. According to Wikipedia, from "late 1950 through 1953, he edited and wrote stories for seven EC titles." I've always loved his signature, which features elongated horizontals on the F and the T, and an extended vertical on the N.

After MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman got in a fight with publisher William Gaines over ownership of the comic and left EC in 1956, Gaines put Feldstein in charge of the humor magazine, where he remained as editor until 1985.

This month, IDW released Feldstein: The Mad Life and Fantastic Art of Al Feldstein!, a 320-page biography written by Grant Geissman (who is a far-out jazz guitarist in addition to being a biographer of comic book luminaries). My copy is in the mail. In the meantime, enjoy these sample pages below, swiped from Bhob Stewart's Potrzebie blog.

Al Feldstein is retired from magazine work, but is an active painter of Western and wildlife scenes.

Feldstein: The Mad Life and Fantastic Art of Al Feldstein!