The great Jack Davis passed away today at age 91. No conversation about the the best of the best in the world of comics, cartooning and/or humorous illustration would ever be complete without his name near the top of the list. Jack was a cartoonists’s cartoonist, an man of immense talent and an eye for visual humor that left the entire world laughing at his simplest of drawings. He was one of the original EC Comics artists on their much beloved and respected horror and other titles in the early 1950’s. He became a superstar with his work in MAD Magazine, first on the Harvey Kurtzman comic book and then under the magazine staff. His work appeared prominently in virtually every major avenue of cartooning and illustration, from TIME magazine covers and many other major publications to major motion picture movie posters to animated television character design to hundreds of posters/products to greeting cards to syndicated comic strips and more. Jack did it all, and he did it better than almost anyone else ever did. The word “genius” gets bandied about a little too often, but in Jack’s case there is no doubt it applies. He was a cartooning and visual genius.
I am blessed to say he was also my friend. We met through the National Cartoonists Society, and getting to know he and his wonderful wife Dena was one of the great privileges of my life. It’s especially gratifying to discover, upon meeting one of your true heroes, you find they are just as wonderful people as they are cartoonists. Jack was one of the kindest, most humble, giving and genuine people I’ve ever met.
I am going to miss him, and so is the rest of humanity. Rest in Peace, Jack.
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