Best known for his "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions" and the ever-ubiquitous MAD Fold-In, cartoonist Al Jaffee has retired today at the age of 99, making him the longest working cartoonist in history.
Jaffee began his career working for Marvel pre-cursors Timely and Atlas Comics in the early 1940s but settled into his lifelong position with the usual gang of idiots at Mad Magazine beginning in 1955. It 1964, he cultivated one of mankind's all-time greatest inventions: the fold-in. It was always a dilemma - how to fold it just enough to see the hidden image without ruining the entire back cover?
Jaffee talks about the origin of his other most enduring gag series, Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions, in this video from Heeb Magazine founder Jeff Newelt .
Let's honor his life's achievements by making our own Fold-In and Snappy Answer tributes today.
Q: Why did Al Jaffee retire?
A: He decided to pursue his actual lifelong dream and become a stuntman.
A: MAD Magazine reneged on his contract by neglecting to pick all of the green M&M's out of his backstage catering tray.
A: He felt like waiting until 100 was just showing off.
From The Washington Post:
Jaffee said in a 2016 Baltimore Comic-Con session that hardship sharpened his humor. He was born in Savannah, Ga., but life grew rough during the six years of childhood he spent on a shtetl in his mother’s Zarasai — what he called “the Siberia of Lithuania” — with food in short supply and no running waters or toys.
Jaffee said that his father, who was back in America, would send him comic strips, including “Dick Tracy” and “Little Orphan Annie.” Young Jaffee, inspired and making do, learned to draw using a stick in the sand, impressing even the bullying kids in the shtetl. Yet such life also bred his distrust of authority figures, leading to his eagerness to poke a satiric stick in the eye of political and social leaders.
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