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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Number 1176: Cracked Jack Davis


Between his stints at Mad (mid-fifties to mid-sixties), Jack Davis’s familiar art was everywhere. I saw his work on magazine covers, record album covers, kids' books (Meet Abraham Lincoln, North American Indians, at Dell (Yak-Yak) and at Mad imitator Cracked.

Jack Davis is a true original, and he's been at his craft for a very long time. Here’s a photo of him I found online, taken at his studio in his home in Atlanta. 
 


These pages are from two 1960 issues of Cracked, #13 and #15.






























Retro TV ads by Davis

8 comments:

HEH said...

It happens every time - there's that immediate guffaw at the writing and the slapstick art, but then it sinks in just how amazing Jack Davis is as an illustrator. His work is simply gorgeous. The tree in Great War Heroes for example. Wow. I didn't read Cracked, so these scans are quite a treat. Thanks, Pappy.

Jeff Overturf said...

Jack Davis as easily the FIRST cartoonist who's work I could identify without a signature on his work (which was almost always there). From his work in Mad to the magazine ad and album artwork he did to toy design to bubble gum cards and movie posters, I could always spot his over-bites, grungy shoes and slightly out-of-focus eyes.

I love how the commercial animations done with his characters, retain such a great amount of his detail. Very unusual (cause it's so damn much work_ for animation.

Kirk said...

Jack Davis was back at Mad by the 1970s. How Cracked could have let him go is beyond me. Maybe they couldn't afford him anymore.

Pappy said...

Kirk, I'm depending strictly on memory here, because the late '50s EC fanzine I remember is long gone from my collection, but I recollect the story that Jack Davis wanted to get back with Mad, but Gaines told him he had no room for him.

I'm sure Cracked didn't match the page rate at Mad. I'm just wondering if Gaines was punishing him for jumping with Kurtzman and Elder. I don't know that and I'm sticking my neck out. But why Gaines wouldn't want to make room for an artist of Davis's ability has always been a mystery to me, especially since he was becoming world famous. Davis did eventually go back, though.

Pappy said...

HEH and Jeff, thanks for your comments. I've been looking at Davis's art since the fifties, and I've never gotten tired of it. It always seems fresh, always new. And more important, always funny!

Karswell said...

Super post, Davis was so amazing.

Pappy said...

Karswell, yeah; amazing for sure.

Wheez Von Klaw said...

Anytime I find one of his lp covers I have to snag it! Davis is a genius.