Friday, January 13, 2017

Jack Davis

My familiarity with the work of Jack Davis is predominantly MAD-related. Here is a typical example -- a Davis/Alfred E. "suit" for the MAD Card Game:
More here.
He produced a wide array of readily recognisable album covers and movie posters as well, almost always employing the inimitable "Jack Davis" caricature mode.
"It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and...
... but of course.
Prior to MAD Davis was already tight with publisher Bill Gaines thanks to an extended tenure with E.C. Comics. He did the art for a number of Tales From The Crypt, as well as various E.C. "War" titles. It's the latter that have my attention.
More examples to be had over here. They're worth a closer look. To my eye, for all the fineness of the rendering -- including an unusually forceful use of extreme black-and-white contrast -- they have troubles with a certain inertness, as well as proportionality. Good work, in other words -- but Davis' real genius was caricature, where proportionality was deliberately elastic and he could shine like no other (save his co-partner-in-crime Mort Drucker, another gargantuan talent in Gaines' usual gang of idiots).

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