Mad fold-ins: "All the craziness comes out on the page"

New Sketch of a Madcap’s Mad Life


His 1964 invention of the fold-in sprang from a similar refusal to follow the crowd. Flipping through magazines like Playboy, Life and Sports Illustrated, he was struck by the slickly-produced centerfolds.

“It hit me,” he said. “If all the fancy magazines are doing fold-outs, what should a magazine on cheap black-and-white newsprint do but a fold-in? Go the other way.”

Years of building things from nothing — like the iron lung he fashioned in high school from Del Monte peach cans — helped him engineer it. Elizabeth Taylor’s marriages furnished what Mr. Jaffee called the “infantile gag.”

Editors, he predicted, would reject the concept “because it mutilates the magazine.”

Instead, he said he was told: “Let’s do it. If it mutilates the magazine, the kids will buy a second as a collectible.”

The magazine ended up wanting more — many more. So up on Cape Cod, as glints of Provincetown harbor beckoned from his living room, Mr. Jaffee had work to do: shipping to New York what the magazine says is his 414th fold-in. Space was waiting for it in the December issue.

Comment: Much more ... interesting multimedia, particularly the second

Making a Fold-In With Al Jaffee

Fold-Ins, Past and Present

Another "South Park" fold-in

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