A few weeks ago I mentioned the upcoming “MAD’s Greatest Artists” release featuring the great Sergio Aragon?¬©s, which is going to be a must have for the ol’ bookshelf. Well, it looks like the ol’ bookshelf is going to need some extra room this fall for what is sure to be not only another gem about another legendary MAD great, but one that is truly as individual and unique as the artist himself.
A biography of the incomparable Al Jaffee is scheduled for release this fall from HarperCollins. Here is the promotional blurb:
Al Jaffee’s inventive work has enlivened the pages of Mad since 1955. To date he has pickled three generations of American kids in the brine of satire, and continues to bring millions of childhoods to untimely ends with the knowledge that parents are hypocrites, teachers are dummies, politicians are liars, and life isn’t fair. Eighty-eight year-old Jaffee is probably best known as the inventor of the “fold-in” which he started in 1964 and has been doing ever since. He is the author of eight volumes of Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions, two of which have sold over two million copies.
Although Jaffee has become a cultural icon, the most compelling part of his life story has yet to be told. A synopsis of Jaffee’s formative years reads like a comic strip of traumatic cliff-hangers with cartoons by Jaffee and captions by Freud. By the time he was 12 years old, Jaffee was separated from his father, uprooted from his home in Savannah, Georgia, transplanted for a year in a shtetl in Lithuania, rescued by his father, returned to America, taken yet again by his mother back to the shtetl, this time for four years, and once again rescued by his father even as Hitler was on the march. His flamboyant perverse youth has made him the MAD man he is today: an artist, a writer, a raconteur, an arrested adolescent and an alien.
The book will feature some 40 reproductions of some of his fantastic artwork done for MAD and other clients and projects. Of course that would just be your typical biography, and nothing about Al Jaffee is typical. True to form, Al is doing something special. He has created 65 originals for the book, illustrating his own life story and childhood memories.
Check out the promotional page of Al Jaffee’s MAD Life for more details and a sneak peek!!
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