Fall Book Reviews

Posted: December 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

      
 
Al Jaffee’s Mad Life  
Al Jaffee has had one amazing life.  From a child  growing up in Savannah, Georgia & moving to Lithuania & leaving again when the Nazis took over Germany, Al later landed a job  as a cartoonist for Mad Magazine & has been there ever since, for over half a century.  He says that it keeps him off the streets.  Al is now 89 years old & still drawing his famous Mad Fold-ins since 1964, which is a concept he came up with after seeing too many fold-outs like the ones in Playboy Magazine.  He is also known for his Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions & a short lived early 1970’s Mad strip called Hawks & Doves which he created as a satire against the Vietnam War.  Al also worked at other humor magazines like  Humbug & Trump Magazine.  He attended the High School Of Music & Design with fellow Madmen Harvey Kutzman & Will Eder. 
Al Jaffe is still writing & drawing for Mad today; still finds life funny; & he has a zest for it!
 
Mad’s Greatest Artist Sergio Aragone – Five Decades Of His Finest Work
Sergio Aragone and Al Jaffee are the only 2 surving longtime Mad Magazines artists still going strong in 2010.
Mr Aragone is from Mexico & now resides in Los Angeles.   He is  best known for his A Mad Look At… which can be on any subject from cats to parades.
His distinct cartoons have no words & are picture stories unto themselves.  His drawings have a great sense of humor & are patterns of human behavior.  He has also been doing these little Marginals on the pages of other Mad stories.
Sergio is known as the world’s fastest cartoonist.  His work is known all over the world.  He also does a comic book called Groo The Wander as a side project, like he did with Plop back in the 1970’s, but he never stops drawing for Mad Magazine. 
This book is a great collection of all all his work for the past 5 decades!
 
The Avengers : A Celebration – 50 Years of a Television Classic
Marcus Hearn is known as an acclaimed author of such Titan books as The Hammer Story and The Beatles Final Tour.  Hearn has now put out an amazing book, The Avengers: A Celebration, about one of the best cult British TV series of all time.
There is even a forward by Patrick Macnee, the main character, John Steed, who was in the entire series.  This book has many never before seen photos in color & also in black & white.  This exciting British spy show started out as a straight ahead crime drama & later became a bizarre sci-fi spy show with killer Cats; rain making devices & attack robots called Cybernauts.  Patrick Macnee was John Steed, &, over the course of the decade of the 1960’s, had many partners.  The show started out on British TV with Patrick Macnee, & Ian HendryAs Dr David Keel & later Jon Rollason as Dr Martin King.  As the show progressed, the female character slowly developed, with Julie Stevens as Venus Smith, a lounge singer.
When Honor Blackman, who played Cathy Gale, came in wearing a black leather jumpsuit & throwing guys over her shoulder, the show took a new form which developed into the US debut with Diana Rigg as Ms. Emma Peel, the most successful character.  The show was then made into color with more fantasy elements.  Diana Rigg changed from the leather jumpsuits to these wild cat suits designs.  The show just got too bizarre & introduced a young Canadian actor named Linda Thorson as Tara King & Patrick Newell as Mother in a wheelchair, as Steed & Tara’s boss.  The Avengers lasted 10 years & has been rerun on TV & is on DVD. 
And now there is this great exciting new book, The Avengers: A Celebration, by Marcus Hearn, with some of the most comprehensive photos of any Avengers book I have seen.

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