Thursday, July 28, 2016
R.I.P. JACK DAVIS
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I report the passing of Jack Davis at the age of 91 on 27 JULY 2016 in Athens, Georgia.
Born John Burton Davis, Jr. on 12 DECEMBER 1924 in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Davis is distinguished by his military service and his career as one of the pre-eminent cartoonist of his times.
Famous to the general public for his movie poster art for such films as IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and THE LONG GOODBYE, it was the readers and fans of E.C. Comics and MAD magazine that most loudly lauded his work.
Mr. Davis was one of the "usual gang of idiots" illustrating strips for the early issue of MAD, as well as having the notoriety of his E.C. story, "Foul Play", mentioned in Dr. Fredric Wertham's indictment of the 1950s comic book industry, SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT.
Mr. Davis is also recognized for his numerous illustrations of movie monsters, including the "Giant 6 Ft. Frankenstein" poster seen in countless comics and monster magazines, as well as being the cover artist for the first issue of Warren's CREEPY, a tribute to the E.C. horror comics line.
His work is recognized by the exaggeration of a character's head, hands, and feet, and by the intricate line and cross-hatch work that gave his images a sketchy but precision ink line.
Of course, I was introduced by Jack Davis by his work in MAD, but he also helped shape my interest in monsters with his classic illustrations for the YOU'LL DIE LAUGHING cards in the 1950s.
I never met Jack Davis, but loved his art and will miss him greatly. Thankfully, though, we have a large body of his work available to us to enjoy for many years to come.