Archive for the ‘mad’ Category

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Magazine Cartoons: Jack Davis

Jack Davis Cartoon

A while back, Will Finn, in his excellent blog small room wrote about the decline in drawing quality of Chuck Jones’ later work for the animation art market. He offers an interesting theory that perhaps Jones’ strength lay in his depiction of personality in motion, and when he chose to focus on static images for the limited edition cel market, his work lost its energy. The fickle nature of the creative spirit is better discussed by artists than by archivists, so I’m not going to add to what Will has said. But I’m going to offer an example from the comic world of a similar nature… Jack Davis.

Please note that I’m focusing on Davis at his peak in this post. When Davis was “on” no one could top him for draftsmanship, composition or energy. If you are interested in looking into how his work occasionally runs hot and cold, see David Apatoff’s insightful article, Counting To Nine.

Jack Davis Cartoon

Jack Davis was a cartoonist from a very early age. His first published work appeared in Tip Top Comics in 1936. He was twelve years old at the time. In 1949, he packed up and moved from Atlanta to New York City, where he was hired by EC Comics to draw for The Vault of Horror and Two-Fisted Tales. At EC, Davis met Harvey Kurtzman, who liked his work and used him in Mad magazine. Kurtzman and Davis also worked together on Little Annie Fanny in Playboy.

Jack Davis Cartoon

Davis went on to become one of the most sought-after illustrators and caricaturists in America. His caricatures of public figures appeared on the covers of Time magazine and TV Guide, as well as record covers, movie posters and bubble gum cards. Davis is currently one of the best-known and recognizable cartoonists in the world.

Jack Davis Cartoon

Here is an early Davis story from Mad magazine that shows his immense talents at their absolute best. Every panel of this comic is drop-dead brilliant!

KANE KEEN
Mad Magazine 1953

Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon
Jack Davis Cartoon

Many thanks to the talented cartoonist, Amir Avni for contributing the copy of "Son of Mad" from which this great story was scanned. Also thanks to the stalwart archive supporter Eric Graf for lending us record covers from his extensive collection to digitize.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Magazine CartoonsMagazine Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Magazine Cartoons.

Jack Davis BookJack Davis BookJack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture: A Career Retrospective is a gigantic career-spanning retrospective, between whose hard covers resides the greatest collection— in terms of both quantity and quality— of Jack Davis’ work ever assembled! It includes work from every stage of his long and varied career. Much of the material has been scanned directly from original art, showing the painterly brush strokes and pen work. Many illustrations are accompanied by preliminary drawings that demonstrate the evolution of Davis’ drawing process. Recommended!

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Magazine Cartoons: Wally Wood in Mad

Notice the way they start some movies nowadays?… No title at the beginning… The movie starts right in with a scene…

Wally Wood in Mad magazine Brando Wild One
Wally Wood in Mad magazine Brando Wild One
Wally Wood in Mad magazine Brando Wild One
Wally Wood in Mad magazine Brando Wild One
Wally Wood in Mad magazine Brando Wild One
Wally Wood in Mad magazine Brando Wild One
Wally Wood in Mad magazine Brando Wild One
Wally Wood in Mad magazine Brando Wild One

Many thanks to Animation Resources supporter Amir Avni for this fantastic Wally Wood story, Wild 1/2 from Mad magazine (Sept. 1954).

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Magazine CartoonsMagazine Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Magazine Cartoons.

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Comics: Paul Coker Jr’s Cartoons For Mad

Paul Coker

Paul CokerPaul CokerPaul Coker Jr. is one of those cartoonists that always seems to be overlooked, yet he is one of the most talented and stylistically ubiquitous artists of modern times. His drawings have appeared in advertisements, on greeting cards and in the pages of Mad Magazine for over half a century. He designed characters for many of the Rankin/Bass holiday puppet TV specials, including “Frosty the Snowman” and “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”. His sketches are deceptively simple on first glance, but they are solidly drawn and incorporate many fundamental principles in a sophisticated manner. (For instance, check out the masterful control of perspective in the cartoon above.) John Kricfalusi has written an appreciation of Coker’s work, as has David Apatoff. Check out this devastating satire on network television and you’ll be a fan too.

From “The Mad Guide To Careers” 1978
BE A NETWORK TV EXECUTIVE

Paul Coker
Paul Coker
Paul Coker

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Magazine CartoonsMagazine Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Magazine Cartoons.