The word came out earlier this week that Jack Davis, world famous cartoonist, had died. Thank god it was a false alarm, and word was quickly sent out that he was still amongst the living. It isn’t that Davis isn’t of an age where the inevitable could happen (he’s in his eighties), but none of us fans want to see him go.
Even if you haven’t heard his name you’ve seen his work on in Mad magazine, magazine covers, record album jackets, advertisements, even animation. He has an instantly recognizable style, and has been highly sought out for various assignments needing the hand of a master cartoonist.
As with most artists, Davis’ career had humble beginnings. In the early fifties he was part of the EC Comics stable of full-time artists. He started out kind of crude, but got better month by month. The first time I saw Davis’ work was in The MAD Reader, a compilation from the early Mad comic book stories. I was nine. I stood at a paperback spinner rack in 1956 looking at the book, knowing instantly that I loved it. The work that attracted me to Davis’ style was “The Lone Stranger,” which I’ve scanned out of The MAD Reader to present to you. It first appeared in Mad #3 in 1953.
I still have my first printing of the paperback, but the binding wouldn’t make it through the scanning process, so I scanned it from the 2002 reprint of that classic book.
Copyright ©1953, 2013 E.C. Publications, Inc.