Librarian Karen Green has done it again! She’s gotten venerable cartoonist Al Jaffee (The Mad fold-in guy) to give his archives to the growing collection at Columbia University. :
Karen Green, a Columbia librarian, approached Mr. Jaffee at last year’s New York Comic Con, a gathering place for popular-culture fans, and asked him if was interested in giving his papers to the university.
“I realized it was a good idea,” he said in a recent interview in his studio on East 56th Street in Manhattan. “It would keep my stuff in New York City, which has been very good to me. The city gave me my first break at the High School of Music and Art, which jump-started my cartooning and got me into the world of art.”
Through Green’s efforts, Columbia has already acquired papers from Chris Claremont, Wendy and Richard Pini and Jerry Robinson, and the Jaffee trove includes notebooks, Dold-In process pieces and a box of comic strips that Jaffee created but never sent out. “I kept creating them, hoping I’d hit pay dirt,” he told the Times. “But I never showed them to anybody, so it was an exercise in stupidity. At least they’ll look good at Columbia.”
Not only is the piece good news for the growing comics archiving movement, but it affords us the pleasure of the above photo by Nicole Bengiveno of the 92-year-old Jaffee in his studio, looking hale and hearty. Could this guy be any more inspiring?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.