Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Video: Al Jaffee

Here is some video (taken from a handheld device) of the one and only Al Jaffee. The uncredited fellow on the left is none other than influential Abrams editor and bon vivant Charlie Kochman. This is from a Barnes & Noble talk. My guess is that it was part of the "meet the author" series at the Upper West Side B&N last night. Mr. Jaffee explains the origin of his "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions." It's a great story that I had not heard. It runs just under 2 1/2 minutes.


A collection of Mr. Jaffee's comic strip TALL TALES (with an introduction by Mad fanboy Stephen Colbert) is available in hardcover. TT was syndicated by the Herald Tribune Syndicate and ran from 1957 to 1963.

"Jaffee conceived of Tall Tales while in desperate economic straits, and hit upon a winning formula for breaking into the lucrative comics syndicate game: rather than drawing a traditional horizontal strip that would compete with the existing material, he opted for a seven-inch-tall vertical strip, which gave editors a lot more flexibility as to where in the paper the strip would run. The tall format is a natural for wordless "double-take" sight-gags whose effect lies in the fact that your eye can't take in the whole strip in one go, so there's a little comic shock that comes after studying the page for a second or two."

- from Cory Doctorow's review at Boing Boing.

My friend Ger Apeldoorn has some TALL TALES Sundays here.

March 30, 2008 Al Jaffee NY Times profile (complete with an ever-so-cool multimedia fold-in gallery).

Al won the prestigious Reuben Award last May. This is my excuse to run the below photo of Al Jaffee and me, looking absolutely dashing in the soup & fish. This is just an hour after he was awarded the Reuben. More on the 2008 Reuben Awards event, with tons of photos & linkies, here and here.


Brian Fies said...

Great video! You know I'm stealing this one. I probably ought to just change my blog into a permanent link to your blog, it'd be easier that way.

Mark Anderson said...

I love that ladder story! And I've been putting off grabbing that book, but now it's Amazon here I come.