Jack Davis was a cartoonist and illustrator, known for his advertising art, magazine covers, film posters, record album art, and comic book stories. Davis (left) was one of the founding cartoonists for Mad Magazine in 1952. His illustrated characters were characterized by extremely distorted anatomy, including big heads, skinny legs, and extremely large feet. What me worry?
Attending the University of Georgia on the G.I. Bill, he drew for the campus newspaper, and launched an off-campus humor publication. He never forgot his Bulldog roots. In 1949, he illustrated a Coca Cola training manual, a job that gave him enough money to buy a car and drive to New York.
Davis initially came to the attention of TV Guide in 1965 when he illustrated an eight-page advertising supplement for NBC’s lineup, which featured icons such as Johnny Carson, Dean Martin, and fictional characters such as Dr. Kildare, Napoleon Solo, and Maxwell Smart. His first cover for the magazine came in 1968, when he depicted a tribute to Andy Griffith, in which the actor was hoisted on the shoulders of his costars, Don Knotts and Jim Nabors. In 2013, the magazine honored him in a retrospective, and spotlighted some of his most memorable covers, including those depicting Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In, Davis’ childhood hero Bob Hope, and Bonanza.
Davis also drew movie posters, with work on Viva Max!, Kelly’s Heroes, Bananas, American Graffiti, The Long Goodbye, and famously, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in his portfolio.
Jack Davis was 91.
Until next time> “never forget”