AL JAFFEE made it clear what his creative priorities had been during a talk Saturday at Baltimore Comic-Con. The MAD magazine legend embraced those “Eureka!” moments when they came along — such as his 1964 inspiration that led to his creation of the back-page fold-in that became his calling card — but most of the time, he was focused only on the belief that they were one-shot gags to meet that next deadline.
Yet deadline after deadline, month after month, Jaffee’s inspiration never seemed to wane as he built a hall-of-fame career that resulted in April, upon his 95th birthday, in his being officially recognized as having the longest career (73 years) as a comics artist, according to Guinness World Records.
And just hours after Jaffee shared his insights with me during his hour-long spotlight panel on Saturday afternoon, he officially received the Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award at the ceremony for the Harvey Awards, which are named for the very editor who first hired Jaffee at MAD in the ’50s.
Also inducted into the Harveys’ Hall of Fame was the late Carl Barks, who is best known for his Donald Duck comics, including his creation of Scrooge McDuck.
Elsewhere, “March: Book Two” (Top Shelf) continued to rack up the honors this summer. The Eisner-winning second installment in Rep. John Lewis’s civil-rights memoir, co-written by staffer Andrew Aydin, won for best original graphic album and best biographical/historical presentation.
“We’re all thrilled — there’s so much strong work being released by such powerful voices these days, and it means that much more to be recognized amidst a sea of talented peers and friends,” Nate Powell, the “March” trilogy artist, tells The Post’s Comic Riffs. “There’s a lot by which to remain continually inspired.”
Another comics creator with Washington area ties, CIA agent-turned-writer Tom King, won most promising new talent for his work on Marvel’s “The Vision.”
Among the evening’s other big winners: Image’s “Saga” received four awards, including twin individual wins for artist Fiona Staples; and the BOOM! Studios anthology “Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz” garnered three trophies.
Here is the full list of 2016 Harvey Award winners:
Best Syndicated Strip or Panel: BLOOM COUNTY, Berkeley Breathed, Universal Uclick
Best Online Comics Work: BATTLEPUG, Mike Norton
Best American Edition of Foreign Material: Tie: TWO BROTHERS, Dark Horse Books and CORTO MALTESE: BEYOND THE WINDY ISLES, IDW Publishing
Best New Series: PAPER GIRLS, Image Comics
Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers: LUMBERJANES, BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios
Best Graphic Album Previously Published: THE LESS THAN EPIC ADVENTURES OF TJ AND AMAL, Iron Circus Comics
Special Award for Excellence in Presentation: PEANUTS: A TRIBUTE TO CHARLES M. SCHULZ, Scott Newman, KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios
Best Domestic Reprint Project: CRIMSON VOL. 1, BOOM! Studios
Best Cover Artist: Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics
Best Biographical, Historical, or Journalistic Presentation: MARCH: BOOK TWO, Top Shelf Productions
Best Anthology: PEANUTS: A TRIBUTE TO CHARLES M. SCHULZ, KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios
Best Graphic Album Original: MARCH: BOOK TWO, Top Shelf Productions
Best Continuing or Limited Series: SAGA, Image Comics
Best Single Issue or Story: PEANUTS: A TRIBUTE TO CHARLES M. SCHULZ, BOOM! Studios
Best Cartoonist: Stan Sakai, USAGI YOJIMBO
Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA, Image Comics
Best Artist: Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics
Best Inker: Klaus Janson, DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE, DC Comics
Best Colorist: Laura Allred, SILVER SURFER, Marvel Comics
Best Letterer: John Workman, RAGNAROK, IDW Publishing
Most Promising New Talent: Tom King, THE VISION, Marvel Comics
Special Award for Humor in Comics: Chip Zdarsky, HOWARD THE DUCK, Marvel Comics
Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Award: Carl Barks, Al Jaffee
Dick Giordano Humanitarian of the Year Award: Beth Widera
Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award: Joe Giella