Monday, March 25, 2019

Favorite MAD Artist Countdown #6 - Jack Davis!


Jack Davis ruled the Earth once upon a time. There seemed like there was no place on the planet one could venture to without seeing a Jack Davis image plastered somewhere on an ad, in a magazine, or otherwise. Davis was just one more member of the "Usual Gang of Idiots" and drew many an offbeat piece for MAD. Unlike other of my favorite artists, I don't associate Davis with any particular feature in the magazine. He'd do unusual gags or he could once in a while do a parody.


Mostly with Davis, what you had was an artist who had captured the zeitgeist of the time in the real world and who was at the same time creating parodies of it. A Davis image is full of vital energy and antic movement and his potent lines make mincemeat of the things they depict.



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4 comments:

  1. A truly exceptional artist, as you say he seemed to be everywhere from comics tomagazines to some amazing film / movie posters where he captured the films and actors perfectly. With Aragones my favourite Mad artist by some distance.

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    1. In my heyday, a budding comic reader and pop culture newbie, I felt absolutely surrounded by Davis material. It was fricking everywhere, in comics which were scandalous and in magazines (like TV Guide for gosh sakes) that were the center of propriety. I think that mainstream success kept me from loving his wacky stuff better than it deserved at the time.

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  2. My understanding is that the paperback cover you show marked Davis' return to Mad after a long absence. He'd been busy with more lucrative commercial contracts, including the movie poster that piece was based on. He did yet another version of it on an album cover for Jonathan Winters, who was also in the movie "It's a Mad,Mad,Mad,Mad World."

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    1. I watched that historic comedy film again a few weeks ago and it holds up extremely well. Jonathan Winters is as good as good gets in it. I've never been all that much of a Sid Caesar fan over years,but as he gets more and more antic in this film I'm laughing bigger and bigger.

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