A great magazine feature makes a great Web app

Paper vs. digital — this battle for our eyeballs (and sense of touch) is being hashed out daily in countless articles in print and, naturally, online. Only one can survive, we’re told, and the consensus appears to be that newspapers and magazines should — like Hillary’s campaign — just call it quits already.

Well, not so fast. For a splendid example of both sides playing nice together, check out an interactive history of the Mad back-cover fold-in — a defining feature of a defining magazine since 1964. From its beginnings, Al Jaffee has been responsible for this monthly poptical illusion, and at 87 he’s still going strong. As you go reeling in the years through his drawings, what jumps out is the amount of political coverage — most of us tend to remember Mad as more about zits and braces and horny yearning and pop celebrities than about Cold War satire.

And as for the interactive feature, just what hipster media upstart can we thank for this addictive piece of Web candy? Why, the New York Times (dotcom, that is). Gray Lady, indeed.

VIEW Fold-Ins, Past and Present

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A great magazine feature makes a great Web app