(Cover art by Al Feldstein, nicked from Steve Stiles' excellent Al Feldstein page.)
Al Feldstein died Tuesday, April 29th, 2014, at his home in Paradise Valley, Montana. He was 88.
Al Feldstein and Bill Gaines were the men responsible for the infamous EC horror comics line in the 1950s. The newly founded Comics Code, instituted after congressional hearings into the links between juvenile delinquency and comic books, proved to be their end.
After that, the two men concentrated their energy on their remaining satirical comic book MAD.
Mr. Feldstein would work 29 years as a MAD editor, responsible for many of its "usual gang of idiots" contributing to the publication. MAD would go from a comic book format to a magazine to escape the Code.
Mort Drucker, Don Martin, Antonio Prohias and many more names that are now associated with MAD came aboard during Mr. Feldstein's 29 years as editor. He was, to quote the NY Times, the "soul of MAD."
(Above: Chair/President of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Ellen S. Abramowitz and Al Jaffee at the Society of Illustrators, April 23, 2014.)
I was just talking to Al Jaffee last week, who told me that it was Feldstein's idea to have the MAD Fold-In be a regular feature.
Al J. was thinking, when he submitted the idea, that it was going to be a one-time thing. But Feldstein "was looking for continuing features" for MAD. So thank you Mr. Feldstein for making Al do all those Fold-Ins!