Jack Davis and Gary Groth appear at The Strand on Thursday December 1, 2011 at 7pm.
Beginning with his masterful pen and ink cartooning at EC Comics, Jack Davis quickly forged a reputation as one of the most versatile artists in comics, drawing humor, horror, and war stories. In Harvey Kurtzman’s MAD, especially, Davis made a mark as a master of caricature, composition, and wild, anarchic crowd scenes, practically vibrating with energy.
After stints at MAD, Trump, and Humbug— three humor magazines that defined the satirical zeitgeist of the ’50s— Davis went on to become the most successful commercial illustrator of his generation, illustrating movie posters, magazine articles, magazine fiction, LP jackets, and more. Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture is a gigantic, unparalleled 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, such as: excerpts of satirical drawings from his college humor ’zine, The Bull Sheet; examples of his comics work from EC, MAD, Humbug, Trump; movie posters including It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Bad News Bears, Woody Allen’s Bananas, The Party, and others; LP jacket art for such musicians and bands as Hans Conreid and the Creature Orchestra’s Monster Rally, Spike Jones and Ben Cooler; cartoons and illustrations from Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, Esquire, and many others. Much of the material has been scanned directly from original art, showing the painterly brush strokes and black and white pen work with far greater fidelity than any previous reproduction ever has. Many paintings and illustrations are accompanied by preliminary drawings that demonstrate the evolution of Davis’ drawing process.
One of America’s most beloved and best known illustrators, Jack Davis was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and still makes his home in the area. He is known for his advertising art, magazine covers, film posters, record album art and numerous comic bookstores. He was one of the founding cartoonists for Mad in 1952.
Gary Groth is the co-founder and President of Fantagraphics Books and The Comics Journal.
The Strand Bookstore
12th & Broadway, New York, NY