Growing up, I loved reading Mad Magazine. My second favorite feature, after Spy vs. Spy, was the Mad Fold-in, placed in the back of the issue.
Today I introduced the fold-in to my daughter. We discussed how the artist, Al Jaffee, did all his work by hand. He creates the entire image on a flatboard and doesn’t fold it along the process of making it. He only sees the finished product once it’s in the magazine.
Originally the fold-in was a concept that, according to Wikipedia,
consists of a single drawing, with a paragraph of text underneath, and a panel across the top with a question. Each Fold-In also features instructions on how to manipulate the Fold-In, as well as a picture illustrating the procedure. Under the instructions are two arrows labeled “A” and “B”. When the paper is folded so that points “A” and “B” are touching, the remaining unobscured text underneath the picture becomes the answer to the question, and the picture itself changes into a fresh image reflecting the new text, as the middle 50% of the drawing vanishes.
My daughter wanted to try her hand at her first fold-in, but maybe without the question and text underneath. It was our first time, we are starting out slow. We settled on a camel that had gifts in it’s carry bag.
Start by using your bone folder to crease your paper into an accordion fold that creates one valley and two mountains.
Keeping your paper folded, draw your image with a pencil.
Open up your paper and first connect the lines, then fill in the space.
Color in your artwork, then go back over and outline some areas with black Sharpie. (Can I just share a little proud mama moment when I noticed the Ramadan lantern included!)
You can give your fold-in away to a friend to enjoy, or keep it for yourself. Folding and unfolding the surprise inside.
With a little practice, maybe we’ll get good enough to include a question on our next one.
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