24 February 2012


I consider myself a simple person with simple needs.  As long as the place I live has a public library and broadband Internet access, I consider myself happy.  All the big-city entertainment is unnecessary for me. I do not stay out late and do not enjoy drinking or dancing anyway.  I need to make one exception.  There are certain events that if I live in a small town nowhere near a big city I would not be able to attend.  Like the panel discussion held at the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) featuring MAD magazine's Al Jaffee and other famous cartoonists.

When I learned about the event on Facebook I immediately accepted the invitation.  The next day at work I happened to glance at my wall calendar and realized that the event would conflict with a company dinner.  Every year the Asian networking group, networking in the sense of making new friends and contacts, at my office hosts a dinner to celebrate Lunar New Year. I already registered for the dinner, the cost for which went up significantly this year so I had to attend.  Luckily, the dinner was held in Chinatown, which is not too far from the MoCCA.  It was a ten-course dinner but I had to split after course #4 came out.  I have not been to the area near Houston Street and Broadway for a while but I do not recall seeing a street-level entrance to any museum.  Sure enough, the MoCCA for now was more like a gallery studio in an office building.  I got there with about half an hour left of the stated time, 7 pm to 9 pm.  The gallery was pretty full, with people filling all the folded chairs setup for the occasion, with some people watching the panel on a TV screen just a partition over in the same room.  Mr. Jaffee was taking questions from the floor.  Perhaps he already talked about his experience with the fold-ins, but by the time I arrived the topics discussed included the annual company trip (which was supposed to be just a one-time deal) and SATSQ (that's "Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions" for those who do not follow MAD in recent years).  I learned that Mr. Jaffee would be turning 91-year-old shortly.  

While I followed MAD magazine off and on and recognize some names I really did not know that much about Mr. Jaffee.  It was very interesting to hear him talk and meeting him afterward.  I knew that he had a collection of the fold-ins that came out recently.  I almost bought it from the B&N on 86th Street just last month but deemed it too heavy to carry with me on my trek to Ward's Island.  I planned to special-order it from B&N and make use of my B&N club discount.  Instead, I decided to buy it at the MoCCA in hope of getting the legendary cartoonist to sign it.  Unfortunately, his hands are too shaky to sign but he came prepared with a variety of signature stickers from which fans can choose.  (At home later that night, I discovered that the fold-in tome also comes with a signature sticker.)  A small price to pay for living past 90 and being so healthy, at least to the eyes, I guess.


  1. Very nice photo of you and Mr. Jaffee - he sure looks good for being 90+. I remember how you used to create MAD magazines while at Cooper Union. In fact I just found a few copies while re-organizing my home office (wonder if I could auction them off, get enough money to retire now - haa haa).
    It is sunny but cold today, in the low 30s. This weekend, we plan to go to a Home and Garden Show to get ideas for renovating the main bathroom.
    Have a good week.

  2. I normally do not refer to people as Mr. This and Mrs. That. I leave that to the New York Times. But Mr. Jaffee is twice my age and he looks so respectable with that white beard!