Sunday, August 02, 2020
Number 2444: Jack’s Yaks
Jack Davis is credited for both writing and drawing Yak Yak, a short-lived (two issues) humor comic book from Dell. Davis had learned some things from Harvey Kurtzman, not to mention other humor magazines and publishers he had worked for. I like Yak Yak, but cannot say it is great, not like his work in Mad comics or Humbug. The artwork in Yak Yak looks rushed, and, like all humor and satire magazines, some of the jokes just fall flat. Still, I like it because I like Jack Davis. And it has beatnik jokes.
The comic I am showing is Yak Yak #2 (1962), also known as Dell Four Color #1348. The sixties were when Jack Davis came into his own, and when he was hired to do movie posters and record album covers it changed the trajectory of his career. Davis went back to Mad magazine at some point, and for several years you could also see his familiar cartooning on the covers of magazines like TV Guide and Time. Davis was also the type of cartoonist who inspired other cartoonists, and sometimes I would be looking at an ad or poster done by another artist and think, "Hey, the guy draws Jack Davis feet." A few artists during the era of horror comics could do very good impersonations of Jack Davis’ style. It’s considered swiping, but I think of it as homage.