One of my artistic heroes is the inimitable Jack Davis. Oh, many have tried to copy him artistically, but no one can come close to the master both artistically AND personally. While Jack’s art style is an island unto itself, his easy-going Southern gentleman personality sparkles as a rarity amongst cartoonists. When you first meet him you just want to be his friend instantly. That moment for me came in 1997 when I first met Jack at a Reuben Awards hosted by the National Cartoonists Society at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.
Many years have past since then, and I am privileged that our first handshake turned into an actual friendship. Back in 2006 when I was president of the Comic Art Professional Society (CAPS), we created an award called The Sergio (designed and named after Sergio Aragonès) to be given annually to a cartoonist whose body of work the cartooning community feels is invaluable and inspiring. Our very first recipient had to be no one other than Jack.
Today happens to be Jack Davis’ 89th birthday, yet somehow his work remains as youthful as the day he started. He is STILL showing us how it is done.
The art I share with you today was my tribute to Jack that appeared in the program book from that Sergio Award banquet. Many cartoonists created little pieces for Jack who not only took home a nice statue, but also a nice portfolio of all the original tribute art.
So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jack Davis! And if you don’t know the work of this great man from MAD Magazine, movie poster illustration, TIME Magazine covers, TV Guide covers, books, advertising art, Wacky Packages, U.S. postage stamps, and just about anything else you can think of, please do yourself a favor and Google his name!