Legendary Mad magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee dead at 102

 April 11, 2023

Longtime "Mad" magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee died at the age of 102, according to his granddaughter.

He passed away in a Manhattan hospital on Monday following organ failure, she told the New York Times.

His legacy

"The Guinness record-holder for longest career in cartooning, Jaffee was known for inventing several of Mad’s most famous regulars, including Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions and the magazine’s iconic 'fold-in', the illustration that ran on the back inside cover of every issue that, when folded, revealed a second hidden image," the Guardian reported.

"Born Abraham Jaffee in 1921 in Atlanta, Jaffee began working in comics soon after graduating high school. At just 20 he sold a parody of Superman, titled Inferior Man, to comic heavyweight Will Eisner, and a year later began working for soon-to-be Marvel titan Stan Lee," it added.

His impact

"A humble and kind creator, Al's presence, his astute social commentary, and his endless amusement at life's ups and downs shaped the fabric of the magazine," Mad said in a statement Monday.
"Al Jaffee was an incredibly gifted man who touched our hearts and never failed to make us laugh," said Jim Lee, chief creative officer and Publisher of DC. "He garnered the highest accolades and praise in the world of illustrations and comics."

At the age of 95, Jaffee said he believed satire was becoming more difficult due to politicians.

"Defeating Mad"

"I think they're defeating "Mad," because they're going beyond anything we can think of doing to show the clownish nature of their claims," he said.

"It used to be that politicians claimed that they would make jobs for everybody in the country within two years or something like that; now they claim that they're going to make jobs for everybody on Mars," he added.

His decades-long service to "Mad" magazine was seen by millions of people worldwide as Jaffee pushed himself to continue working at what he loved until the age of 99.

The loss of the well-known cartoonist leaves sadness to many familiar with his work who have appreciated his humor on numerous issues facing society.

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