New York Times has an article on the artist who has been drawing the fold-in feature for Mad Magazine since 1964. I love this magazine however as a student, they were just too expensive to buy. Maybe I’ll start getting them again. The fold-in feature was always a highlight because you never knew what the hidden message was and how it would shock, provoke or tease you.
A sample of some of the fold-ins can be found here.
The thing about these fold-ins is that they show you the power of humor in making a statement. Part of the power is that it lures you in, and when your guard is down, hits you with a perspective that you might not have otherwise bothered to consider. Humor allows someone to enter our lives as a buddy and become a mildly disapproving parent who holds up a mirror to let us see ourselves for who we really are.
And today you could teach a pretty good course in modern American history just using Mr. Jaffee’s fold-ins. June 1970: “Who is fast becoming our all-time top comic character?” A collage of every cartoon figure you can think of folds into one big Spiro Agnew. July 1968: “What is the one thing most school dropouts are sure to become?” A picture of teenagers at an employment center folds into a piece of artillery with a kid stuffed in it, and the answer: “Cannon fodder.”