Celebrate Al Jaffee’s 100th Birthday Virtually

by Richard Bruton

The great Al Jaffee is 100 this week, March 13th 2021, So, time to celebrate the grand event virtually with some of the Mad-dest names in comics!

Al Jaffee, legendary Mad cartoonist – creator of The Mad Fold-In and Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions – turns 100 on March 13th 2021.

Whilst nothing can be done in person, this is one birthday that can’t go by without celebrating in some way, which is why an all-star lineup of Al’s friends and colleagues are gathering to pay tribute to and tell stories about this icon of American humor.

Taking part we have Sergio Aragones (so, so much, including Mad and Groo!) Sam Viviano (Mad art director), Peter Kuper (Spy Vs Spy), Charles Kochman (of Abrams Comic Arts), Nancy Elder VandenBergh and Gary VandenBergh (daughter and son-in-law of Mad legend Will Elder, who knew Al since high school), Karen Green (Graphic Novel Librarian at Columbia University, where Jaffee’s archives reside), Arie Kaplan (Mad writer) and Danny Fingeroth (A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee).

Now, the birthday boy Al Jaffee won’t be present himself, but there’s the hope that you’ll be able to see a short, prerecorded greeting from him as part of the celebration.

You can register here for this free Al Jaffee is 100 birthday party, through the ComixPlex network.

Al Jaffee – photo from the Al Jaffee is 100 Facebook site

Al Jaffee‘s is Mad’s longest-serving contributor, having joined the “usual gang of idiots” in 1955, with the second magazine format issue, but left just three issues later when editor Harvey Kurtzman left. Jaffee worked with Kurtzman on Trump and Humbug, returning to Mad in 1958 and never leaving.

He’s also recognised as being the world’s longest-serving cartoonist, having begun his career in 1942 and only retiring in 2020, with Mad publishing a special tribute issue of all-Jaffe work, including his final Fold-In.

Anyone who’s ever opened more than a couple of issues of Mad will have seen and loved Jaffe’s Mad’s Fold-In (debuting in 1964) and Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions (debuting in 1965), his two most famous and long-running series. But he was also the artist behind so many great Mad cartoons and features, including Don’t You Hate…? and Hawks & Doves.


The all-Jaffe issue of Mad to mark his final work at the grand old age of 99… cover concept by Al Jaffee,  cover artist Sam Viviano

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