There’s not many comic artists who can genuinely be called legendary while they still lived, Jack Davis was one. Davis who died last week was also one of the people responsible for shaping a country through his art yet most weren’t aware of him, but I bet most people have seen the opening titles to Grease and seen how important animator John Wilson thought Davis because he’s not just using his style, but referencing his work.
For me I discovered Davis’s work first via his cover to Creepy #1, one of Warren Magazine’s horror comics.
He never really registered for me after that til much, much later on I discovered EC Comics and found out he was probably one of the best comic artists to have ever been. He could draw a mean zombie..
From his horror, crime and science fiction work I moved onto Mad, where for years he turned out some astonishingly wonderful bits of comedy and satire like this classic from Mad #70 about the differences between rich and poor.
Then there’s all the magazine cover and film poster work he did, two stand outs for me are the poster to George Lucas’s American Graffiti.
And this classic from It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
Jack Davis was a legend. This is a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of things he’s done and frankly, any artist that helped shape a decade as Davis did in the 1950’s is more than an artist. He’ll be missed but dear me, what a body of work he leaves behind him!