MAD Magazine cartoonist Al Jaffee is interviewed by Michael Mechanic for Mother Jones magazine. The occasion: the publication of AL JAFFEE'S MAD LIFE, a memoir written by Mary-Lou Weisman ("She's an author and a more high-brow literary type."), with drawings by the Reuben Award winning Mr. Jaffee, natch! The book is due out from HarperCollins, in hardcover and eBook formats, on Tuesday, September 28th.
A MAD regular since 1955, Al recounts the life of a freelancer, then and now:
"No one knew that Mad was going to go on for 50 or 60 years. I figured, 'All right, I'll do the best I can with Mad for as long as it lasts.' When you live from freelance check to freelance check, your mind is always on 'What's the next piece I'm going to write, or draw, that'll pay this month's rent?' And so going out to play ball with my kids was a low priority."
His observations of adults fed his later writing:
"It doesn't take a brilliant mind to notice that adults are telling you what to do and then they do the opposite—I mean, I can't recall every stupid thing that adults were doing when I was six or seven. Some of it was the religious restrictions, where there were certain things that you were allowed to do and certain things that you weren't allowed to do, and I couldn't make sense of those things."
The rest is here.