Al Jaffee's MAD Fold-Ins

Anyone that's picked up a Mad magazine in say, the last 50 years (and if you haven't, what the hell is wrong with you?!) has no doubt tinkered with one of Jaffee's fold-ins. The concept is pretty simple, match A's and B' by folding the page in half, to reveal a new image and generally, a punch line for a joke presented on the full page. Aside from my childhood frustration with the concentration involved in folding the fold-in "just right" (although you usually got the idea) I absolutely loved manually decoding the jokes and dreaming about one day being somehow talented enough to create my own. People have tried to duplicate the formula (VICE magazine, notably, last year) with mixed success. Whether it's a ripoff or a tribute is up for discussion, but I'd be willing to bed tribute is more accurate because of how universally beloved Jaffee's work was among comic fans.

And whadya know?! A few days ago the New York Times posted an interactive feature called Fold-In's - Past and Present that not only features some choice selections from as far back as the 60's, but does so in a way that makes me pee a little as an interactive designer. The folded edges are a little cleaner, but the laughs are still there. It makes you wonder, where has the creativity gone?

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