Over at the National Caricaturists Network, Jan Op De Beeck's birthday pick for today is Al Jaffee, the veteran MAD Magazine cartoonist. Al is celebrating his 88th birthday today, and I'm happy to see that he's still one of "The Usual Gang of Idiots" contributing to MAD on a regular basis. There aren't too many still there of the artists who were big in the 1970s, when I was a regular reader. Aside from Al, there's still Mort Drucker and Sergio Aragones, maybe a few others, but mostly there's been a newer crew illustrating in this millennium, including the wonderful Tom Richmond. My favourite was Jack Davis, but I don't believe he's been active at MAD for awhile now.
Even after all these decades since starting as an artist with the magazine in 1964, Al Jaffee is still coming up with his famous "MAD Fold-In" for the back inside cover every month. Frankly, I don't know how he creates those things - they're brilliant visual puzzles! Incidentally, he was also recently named "Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year" at the 2008 Reuben Awards, presented by The National Cartoonist Society.
In order to draw this caricature of Al, I checked out what was available on YouTube, so here are a couple of neat interviews with him that I found. Happy Birthday Al!