Saturday, March 10, 2012

Al Jaffee and the Inferior Man

Jaffee at the New York Comic Convention
in Manhattan, October 9, 2010. Via
Inferior Man would appear to be the product of many authors and artist, but this creation was all the product of Al Jaffee. I am still not sure why he used a different pen name every comic, but the quality of his work did not vary.

Jaffee knew his best hope from finding work as a Jewish man at the end of the Great Depression was in comics. Superheros were the main game of the day, but Jaffee found he couldn't reproduce the art of the popular Superman-type comics. Jaffee created Inferior Man to go with his art style. He found that it "leaned towards the cartoony figures." 

In a Mother Jones interview, Jaffee reveled more about the creation of Inferior Man,
"..I made a drawing of Inferior Man with a couple of monsters that he     might be fighting—and a friend of mine said, "Why don't you take that up to Will Eisner? He's hiring." I went up there, and Eisner was intrigued by Inferior Man, and he hired me on the spot. Ten dollars a week, which was a fortune! A subway fare was only five cents. And there, I met Dave Berg and a number of other people that I would know through the years. And that's how I got my start. Unfortunately, because the war was on, Eisner—whom I respected enormously—said to me, "Why don't you put Inferior Man in the Army. He'll be a nondescript soldier by day and a superhero by night." I always did whatever an editor told me to do, so I did it. But I just couldn't make it work. Within a couple of months, it just wasn't going anywhere. That's how I moved on to Stan Lee." (Source)

In a 2010 New York Comic Con panel for golden and sliver aged artist, Jaffee Reveled more about that character's creation. CBR reports,

"Jaffee went on to explain that the concept intrigued Will Eisner, who told Jaffee he would hire him and use the Inferior Man stories as filler mainly in military comics. Moreover, Eisner suggested that they scrape the accountant background and make him a quartermaster."
Now without further ado, a taste of his work from Military Comics #7 (Feb. 1942)...(Scroll to read here)

Page 01  //  02  //  03

To find out more about Al Jafee check out these links...
Lambiek - Al jaffee

No comments: