Allan "Al" Jaffee (born Abraham Jaffee) is a cartoonist best known for his work at Mad magazine, including the trademark Mad Fold-In and Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions. Jaffee began his career in 1941, working as a comic-book artist for several publications, including Marvel Comics predecessors Timely Comics and Atlas Comics. While working alongside future Mad cartoonist Dave Berg, Jaffee created several humor features for Timely, including "Inferior Man" and "Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal".
After World War II, he returned working under Stan Lee doing Timely's humor and teenage comics, including the "Patsy Walker" line. Jaffee left Timely in 1952, and went to join Mad, which had been founded by another former Timely employee, Harvey Kurtzman. According to Jaffee, his falling out came after Jaffee had pulled an all-nighter, and the editor heaped too much comical praise on artist Al Hartley’s Patsy Walker work. Jaffee said he told the editor, “Well, then, let Hartley have the book.”
Jaffee considers his work with Lee a truly learning experience:
- “When I first got to know him, he said to create an animal strip, and I said I didn’t know how to draw animated-type animals because I hadn’t worked for Walt Disney like Vince Fago and so many others did. He said, ‘You do it,’ and I did, and Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal became a pretty good selling comic book...when he asked me to take over Patsy Walker, I said, ‘I don’t know anything about teenage girls, and don’t even think I ever dated one,’ so I had to turn him down, and he said, ‘No, you won’t turn me down; you can do it.’ He always said that to me, and I always did. I would even dare to say, if someone like Stan Lee had said to me, I want you to take over Batman, I think I would have worked night and day for as long as I had to to start drawing Batman the way Bob Kane did.”
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