Al Feldstein, former editor of satirical Mad magazine, dies aged 88

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 9:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 10:26pm

Al Feldstein, a long-time editor of US humour magazine Mad who helped push it to its peak in popularity in the 1970s, died at his home in the US state of Montana, according to a funeral home announcement.

Feldstein, 88, who was editor of Mad during its heyday in the 1960s and 70s and also a comic book writer and artist, died at his home in Livingston, Montana, on Tuesday, according to a statement by jazz guitarist and Mad expert Grant Geissman posted on the website of funeral home Franzen-Davis.

Feldstein worked at EC comics from 1948, launching horror titles that included Tales from the Crypt, which was first adapted into a film in 1972.

He left comics to become the editor of Mad in 1956, replacing founding editor Harvey Kurtzman, and led the magazine as it became influential in satirising US pop culture and a commercial success.

He retired in 1984, settling in Montana to paint nature-based artwork now featured in numerous galleries. He also opened a horse refuge with his wife.

Dennis Harrington, the owner of Montana's Planet Bronze Art Gallery, which sells Feldstein's work, said he had known the artist for 17 years, and called him "really down to earth".

"He was just so sure of himself," Harrington said. "He talked to me about the magazine, and he would get a smile on his face because he went away from that, he moved to Paradise Valley because that's the life he wanted - to be by himself, paint the nature and be a part of it."

Feldstein is survived by wife Michelle and a stepdaughter.