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October 31, 2010

45 Down, 7 To Go "Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography" (52 Books, 52 Weeks)

When I was a kid, the monthly arrival of Mad magazine was the most anticipated media event in my life. From an early age, I appreciated the social satire, and learned to distinguish between the staff cartoonists. Al Jaffee's mix of cultural relevance with laugh out loud jokes quickly made him my favorite Mad artist.

In Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography, Mary-lou Weisman captures Jaffe's life from his troubled childhood to his early days at Mad through the present. Al Jaffee led an interesting life. As a child he moved to Lithuania (then back to America again), then found his calling as an artist in high school. Most interesting to me was his collaborations with people like Harvey Kurtzman and his eventual reign as staff cartoonist at Mad.

Al Jaffee worked closely with Mary-lou Wiseman while she wrote Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography, and it shows. Wiseman clearly demonstrates how Jaffee's life has colored his cartoons, adding enlightening depth to his work.

My next book is Mat Jonsson's graphic novel Hey Princess.

also at Largehearted Boy:

other 52 Books, 52 Weeks reviews

Online "best of the decade" book lists
Online "best of 2009" book lists
Online "best of 2008" book lists
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)

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