One of America’s greatest cartoonists hit the century mark today. Happy Birthday, Al Jaffee.
Jaffee is adored by millions of fans and respected by his fellow cartoonists. His artistic career ran from 1942 until 2020. He is mentioned in the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest career as a comic artist. “Guinness noted that he had worked continuously, beginning with Jaffee’s contribution to the December 1942 issue of Joker Comics and continuing through the April 2016 issue of Mad Magazine, for a grand total of 73 years and three months. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz said, “Al can cartoon anything.” To hundreds of thousands of his fans, he was Mad Magazine. He worked for Mad for 65 years and was responsible for their Fold-In pages, as well as the “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions” feature.
Abraham Jaffee was born March 13, 1921 in Savannah, Georgia, USA. He spent part of his childhood in Zarasai, Lithuania, before returning to the US and growing up in New York. He studied at the High School of Music & Art in New York City. He began his artistic career in 1942, working for Timely Comics and Atlas Comics. He served his country during WWII and it was through an army clerical error that Abraham Jaffee becaIn 1973, me Allan Jaffee.
In 1973, Jaffee won the National Cartoonists Society Advertising and Illustration Award. He won the NCS Special Features Award in 1971 and 1975. In 2013, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame by San Diego ComicCon. in 2014, Jaffee was elected to the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame, six years before he retired.
Jaffee was twice married — first to Ruth Ahlquist from 1945 to 1967. They had two children, Richard and Debbie. He remarried Joyce Revenson in 1977; they were together until her death in 2020.
In 2010, in an interview with the magazine Mother Jones, he said, “Serious people my age are dead.” We can be grateful that Jaffee is seldom serious, so we can celebrate his 100th birthday. Let there be fireworks and cake! Happy 100th Birthday, Al Jaffee, and thanks for all the years of mirth and merriment.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.