Before the Fold-In, Al Jaffee’s (1921-2023) Tall Tale Telling

With the sad passing of Al Jaffee this week, cartooning lost its oldest and longest-working artist. In fact, the man behind 55 years of MAD magazine Fold-Ins held the Guinness Book of World Record for having the longest career in the field. But his 1964 invention of that classic foldable end-page gag was not his first stab at rethinking form. His inspiration for the fold-in was an inversions of the then-trendy magazine fold-out. But it turns out that zigging when others zagged was a bit of a thing with Jaffee. Back in the mid-1950s he broke into the syndicated newspaper comic strip market by literally turning convention on its side. He called them Tall Tales.

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