Mad Magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee, known for his inventive humor and creation of the iconic “Fold-In” feature, passed away on April 10, 2023, at the age of 102. His granddaughter, Fani Thomson, confirmed the news and disclosed that the cause of death was multi-system organ failure.
Jaffee began his career at Mad Magazine in 1955, where he was a regular contributor for over 65 years. He was best known for his unique and humorous style of cartooning, and for creating the iconic “Fold-In” feature, which he introduced in 1964. The “Fold-In” was a special feature that appeared at the back of each issue of Mad Magazine, in which the reader could fold the page in half to reveal a hidden message or image. Jaffee’s creative genius behind this feature made it a staple of the magazine and a fan-favorite until Mad Magazine ceased publication in 2019.
Born on March 13, 1921, in Savannah, Georgia, Jaffee had a long and illustrious career in cartooning. He had previously worked as a cartoonist for other publications, including the New York Herald Tribune and Timely Comics, which later became Marvel Comics. Jaffee’s work was not limited to cartoons, as he was also an accomplished writer and author. He published several books, including “The Mad World of William M. Gaines” and “Tall Tales,” a collection of humorous short stories.
During his career, Jaffee received numerous accolades and awards for his work in cartooning. In 2008, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, joining other legendary cartoonists such as Bill Watterson, Gary Larson, and Charles Schulz. Jaffee retired from Mad Magazine in 2021, at the age of 100, but continued to create cartoons and write until his passing.
Jaffee’s unique brand of humor and creativity made him an icon in the world of cartooning, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of cartoonists for years to come. His passing is a loss to the art world, and his contributions to the industry will never be forgotten.