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Famed Bulldog artist Davis dies
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Famed Bulldog artist Davis dies

Famed Bulldog artist Davis dies

Famed Bulldog artist Davis dies

Jack Davis has died. If the name is not familiar to Athens and to Georgia Bulldog fans around the state, Davis' work certainly is. Davis illustrated the famous and numerous Georgia Bulldog cartoons that are prominent in Athens and all across Georgia. Davis, who rose to prominence via his role at Mad Magazine, was 91.

Jack Davis' Wikipedia biography...

Early life[edit]

Davis was born in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] As a child, he adored listening to Bob Hope on the radio, and tried to draw him, despite not knowing what Hope looked like.[2]

Career[edit]

Early work[edit]

Davis saw comic book publication at the age of 12 when he contributed a cartoon to the reader's page of Tip Top Comics #9 (December 1936). After drawing for his high school newspaper and yearbook, he spent three years in the U.S. Navy, where he contributed to the daily Navy News.[1]

Attending the University of Georgia on the G.I. Bill, he drew for the campus newspaper and helped launch an off-campus humor publication, Bullsheet, which he described as "not political or anything but just something with risque jokes and cartoons." After graduation, he was a cartoonist intern at The Atlanta Journal, and he worked one summer inking Ed Dodd's Mark Trail comic strip, a strip which he later parodied inMad as Mark Trade.[3]

Comic strips and comic books[edit]

In 1949, he illustrated a Coca-Cola training manual, a job that gave him enough cash to buy a car and drive to New York. Attending the Art Students League of New York, he found work with the Herald Tribune Syndicate as an inker on Leslie Charteris's The Saint comic strip, drawn by Mike Roy in 1949–50. His own humor strip, Beauregard, with gags in a Civil War setting, was carried briefly by the McClure Syndicate. After rejections from several comic book publishers, he began freelancing for William Gaines' EC Comics in 1950, contributing to Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, Frontline Combat, Two-Fisted Tales, The Vault of Horror, Piracy, Incredible Science Fiction, Crime Suspenstories, Shock Suspenstories and Terror Illustrated.

In 2011, Davis told the Wall Street Journal about his early career and his breakthrough with EC:[4]

"I was about ready to give up, go home to Georgia and be either a forest ranger or a farmer. But I went down to Canal Street and Lafayette, up in an old rickety elevator and through a glass door to Entertaining Comics where Al Feldstein and Bill Gaines were putting out horror [comic] books. They looked at my work and it was horrible and they gave me a job right away!""Every time you went in to see Bill Gaines, he would write you a check when you brought in a story. You didn't have to put in a bill or anything. I was very, very hungry and I was thinking about getting married. So I kept the road pretty hot between home and Canal Street. I would go in for that almighty check, go home and do the work, bring it in and get another check and pick up another story." [Edit: the actual cross street to Lafayette was Spring Street, not Canal.]

Davis was particularly noted for his depiction of the Crypt-Keeper in the horror comics, revamping the character's appearance from the more simplistic Al Feldstein version to a tougher, craggier, mangier man with hairy warts, salivating mouth and oversized hands and feet, who usually didn't wear shoes. Among the classic horror tales he illustrated were "Foul Play" which was cited in Dr. Fredric Wertham's book Seduction of the Innocent for its depiction of "a comic book baseball game". Others, like "Tain't the Meat, It's the Humanity", "Death of Some Salesman", "Fare Tonight Followed by Increasing Clottiness", "Tight Grip" and "Lower Berth" were Crypt-Keeper classics. He did the covers for every issue of Crypt from issue #29 to #46. In his work for Harvey Kurtzman's war comics he tackled a variety of subjects and had a particular affinity for depicting American Civil War stories. He also did many covers for Frontline Combat, Two-Fisted Tales and Incredible Science Fiction as well. The editors, William M. Gaines, Albert B. Feldstein and Harvey Kurtzman have said he was the fastest artist they had in those days, completely penciling and inking three pages a day at times, or more. His use of the brush to create depth and mood was unique and memorable. His wrinkled clothing, scratchy lines and multi-layered layouts were so popular in the 1950s, that other artists at rival companies began copying the style—notably, Howard Nostrand in Harvey's horror comics.[5] In the late 1950s, Davis drew Western stories for Atlas Comics. His 1963 work on the Rawhide Kid (#33-35) was his last for non-humor comic books.

His style of wild, free-flowing brushwork and wacky characters made him a perfect choice when Harvey Kurtzman launched Mad as a zany, satirical EC comic book in 1952. He appeared in most of the first 30 issues of Mad, all 12 issues of Panic and even some work in Cracked. Davis contributed to other Kurtzman magazines—Trump, Humbug and Help!—eventually expanding into illustrations for record jackets, movie posters, books and magazines, including Time and TV Guide. He completed an 88-card set of humorous cartoons called Wacky Plaks, which Topps Chewing Gum Co. released in 1959. In 1961, he wrote, drew, and edited his own comic book, Yak Yak, for Dell Comics. In 1965, he illustrated Meet The North American Indians by Elizabeth Payne, published by Random House as part of their children's Step Up Books line. (ISBN 0-394-80060-5). He returned as a regular contributor to Mad magazine in the mid 1960s and appeared in nearly every issue after that for decades. He also drew many covers for the magazine, especially in the 1970s.[1]

Davis also had a regular comic strip feature in Pro Quarterback magazine in the early 1970s entitled Superfan, which was written by his Mad cohort, Nick Meglin.[1]

As of May 2014, he is the only surviving artist of the EC horror comics. Their colourist (who did no story art for EC), Marie Severin, is also still living. Wallace Wood died in 1981 and Reed Crandall died the following year. Bernie Krigstein died in 1990 and Graham Ingels died the following year. Joe Orlando died in 1998. Johnny Craig and George Evans died in 2001. Jack Kamen and Will Elder died in 2008, Frank Frazetta andAl Williamson died in 2010. Harry Harrison died in 2012 and Al Feldstein died in April 2014.

Advertising and magazines[edit]

Davis first came to the attention of TV Guide in 1965 when he illustrated an eight-page advertising supplement for NBC's TV lineup, which featured icons such as Johnny Carson, Dean Martin and fictional characters such as Dr. Kildare, Napoleon Solo and Maxwell Smart. His first cover for the magazine came in 1968, when he depicted a tribute to Andy Griffith, in which the actor was hoisted on the shoulders of his costars, Don Knotts and Jim Nabors. Davis recalls, "Every assignment was a thrill because TV Guide was the top magazine in the country. I couldn't wait to get in my little MG and drive from New York out to the magazine's offices in Radnor, Pennsylvania, to show the editors my latest design. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world." Davis would contribute 23 covers for TV Guide between 1968 and 1981. In 2013 the magazine honored him in a retrospective in which it recounted his history with the publication, and spotlighted some of his most memorable covers, including those depicting Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (March 28, 1970), Davis' childhood hero Bob Hope for a cover on Hope's history with the Oscars (April 10, 1971) and Bonanza (August 14, 1971). Years later, while watching a TV interview of Hope, Davis was gratified to notice that his Hope cover was displayed on the back wall of the comedian's office; "it was one of the proudest moments of my life," recalled Davis.[2]

Davis created the cartoon bee which (in decal form) appears on the flanks of all the buses in the Bee-Line running from Westchester to New York City. A Westchester resident at the time, Davis lived directly adjacent to one of the Bee Line's bus routes, and he mentioned in an interview how gratifying it was to see his own artwork drive past his window several times every day. Similar synchronicity happened when Mad moved to 1700 Broadway, where the magazine's fifth-floor production department was next to a wall that had previously been the location, only three feet away, of an immense Davis cartoon for a bank, an advertisement that towered six stories over 53rd Street.[citation needed]

Films, posters, and cover art[edit]

Like fellow Mad alumnus Paul Coker, Jr., Davis also contributed to Rankin-Bass productions; his character designs are featured in Mad Monster Party, The King Kong Show, The Coneheads and the cartoon seriesThe Jackson 5ive. For Raid insecticide, Davis created the animated bug that screamed "Raid?!" Phil Kimmelman Associates created several commercials designed by Davis and animated in his style.

Davis produced the artwork for the poster for the 1963 comedy chase film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (which he then parodied for the cover of the Mad paperback "It's a World, World, World, World Mad"). When the Criterion Collection released the film on DVD and Blu-ray in 2014, Davis provided illustrations for the accompanying booklet.

Davis' artwork for the comedy Western Viva Max! (1969) formed the centerpiece of that film's promotional campaign, and he did the same for the film Kelly's Heroes in 1970. His poster for Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973) presented the film in a comic light.

In 1963 Davis produced a work of cover art for the Richard Wolfe album, Many Happy Returns of the Day! released by MGM Records, and designed the Homer and Jethro album, Homer and Jethro Go West (RCA Victor).

In 1966, Davis created the cover art for the Johnny Cash album, Everybody Loves a Nut.

Awards and exhibitions[edit]

Davis was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2003. He also received the National Cartoonists Society's Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. A finalist for inclusioon in the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1990, 1991 and 1992, he received the National Cartoonists Society's Advertising Award for 1980 and their Reuben Award for 2000.

In June 2002, Davis had a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Society of Illustrators in New York. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2005.

In 1989, Davis was commissioned by the United States Postal Service to design the 25-cent Letter Carriers stamp. There was some concern that the cartoon would offend some letter carriers as being too informal and not respectful of their position. However, the President of the Letter Carriers Union gave his blessing, and the stamp was well received. Although postal policy does not allow artists to portray living persons on stamps, one of the carriers in the stamp is an unmistakable self-portrait of Davis.

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Bulldog News

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  • BATON ROUGE, La. — Dave Aranda is the highest paid coordinator in college football, and Saturday afternoon the LSU   defensive wizard earned his $2.5 million annual salary by throttling Georgia’s multifaceted offense. Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said in the days leading up to LSU’s 36-16 win over the Bulldogs that it would be a chess match, and the coaching moves from both staffs were on display. Georgia marched 60 yards on nine consecutive run plays on its second offensive series, displaying a dominant run game that seemed to bode well for the afternoon before an ill-fated fake field goal attempt changed the momentum. The Bulldogs managed just 17 yards on their next seven carries, LSU forcing three consecutive three-and-out series in pulling away to a 16-0 halftime lead. WATCH: LSU coach Ed Orgeron says physical football in Tigers’ DNA “You know they started running the football on us in the first quarter, (and) Dave (Aranda) made some adjustments,” Orgeron said. “Dave did a great job. We mixed up the personnel groupings that we use. We gave them some stuff that they didn’t see. Obviously, everything was built on stopping the run and the deep pass, and we did it. “We were playing one certain defense, and it wasn’t working. And we changed to play another one, and it worked.” Georgia, with its two-headed monster at quarterback, it’s four-man tailback platoon and double-digit receiver rotation, could not strike the right combination. The same versatility that has made the Bulldogs a tough matchup for an opponent worked against coach Kirby Smart — Georgia had no offensive identity to lean on when times got tough. “We were in four-open sets and we were running the ball really well and we drove down there and … we kind of stayed with that the next drive,” Smart said, asked why the Bulldogs abandoned the run. “We actually went back to it (the run). They changed some things up and it wasn’t working as well.” It put quarterback Jake Fromm in a difficult situation, with LSU running different looks than it had shown all year, making Georgia’s celebrated offensive line appear ineffective and overmatched at times. “We were just taking advantage of what they were giving to us,” said Fromm, who was sacked three times and pressured on several others, “and then they started kind of taking that away later in the game, and we started slinging the ball around a little bit.” Orgeron said the key  adjustment involved changing up the defensive fronts, creating different angles, with Aranda expertly mixing in different personnel to create problems for the Bulldogs. “We challenged our defensive line, especially (nose tackle) Ed Alexander,” Orgeron said. “That’s one of the best centers (Lamont Gaillard) we’ve seen. I thought he (Alexander) played one of his best games today. ” Smart said in the days leading up to the game he respected Aranda, his words foretelling. “ Dave Aranda is one of the premier defensive coordinators in the country, we look at what he does week to week, they do a tremendous job, always looking for new ideas, he’s a guy you look at,’ Smart said. “So for us, we’ve got to keep our quarterback’s upright. We’ve got to keep them in the pocket. Can’t get our offensive line confused.” It was clear by the end of the afternoon LSU was the better prepared team, its players out-executing what had been a very focused and dominant Georgia football team through the first half of the regular season. “ They played more physical than we did, they attacked us, they did a good job, they created turnovers, we didn’t do that, we didn’t protect the ball as good as we had,” Smart said, owning the defeat. “You can look at a lot of things, and I’m perfectly OK with that. We’re gonna look at a lot of things, and how we can get better.” Georgia dropped to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 poll with the loss, and No. 6 in the Coaches’ Poll. Georgia-LSU football DawgNation Georgia-LSU top-rated television game, Atlanta market shines Kirby Smart defends Jake Fromm at LSU Georgia football saw warning signs, couldn’t dodge Tigers’ trap Why didn’t Georgia use Justin Fields more? Report card: Bulldogs bomb midterm Georgia football stock report, LSU cashes in on Dawgs mistakes Instant analysis: Georgia melts in Louisiana heat against LSU Tigers came at Georgia for four downs on each series RECAP: Scoring, injuries, news from Georgia’s 36-16 loss to LSU Georgia planned ill-fated field goal early in the week Georgia rushing attack goes AWOL in battle at LSU   The post On the beat: LSU defensive wizard outschemed Georgia’s multifaceted offense appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia eased past UNC Asheville, 20-7, in a 14-inning exhibition victory on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 361 at Foley Field.  The visiting Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first, putting across three runs in the top of the second inning after a hit-by-pitch, walk and three singles.    Georgia wasted no time on answering with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Riley King, Kaden Fowler, Patrick Sullivan led off the inning with consecutive doubles. After Tucker Maxwell reached on a bunt, Tucker Bradley cleared the bases with a home run shot into the trees beyond the right-center field wall.  Another five run inning followed for the Bulldogs in the third, giving Georgia a healthy 10-3 lead. Jon Cable and Sullivan scored on a wild pitch and passed ball, respectively, while a groundout roller to first by Fowler allowed King to score. The other two runs came off RBI singles from Cam Shepherd and LJ Talley.   At the extended seventh inning stretch, the score read 12-5. Georgia struck first after the reset with a RBI single from King that scored C.J. Smith. UNC Asheville scored two in the ninth inning to cut its deficit to 13-7.    Chaney Rogers found the right field bleachers off the bounce in the 11th for a RBI ground rule double that scored Talley.    King finished off his impressive day with a grand slam that landed in the camera stand just past the center field wall. King went 4 for 7 with two doubles and five RBIs. Bradley finished 3 for 5 with a home run, stolen base and three RBIs. Georgia amassed nine doubles on the day.   Georgia used 13 pitchers in which 10 threw a scoreless inning. Tim Elliot and Riley Crean registered three strikeouts each in their one inning of work. Darryn Pasqua closed out the day on the mound with two strikeouts in one inning.   The contest concluded the fall exhibition series, however the Bulldogs will compete in the annual Bulldog World Series, a three-game intersquad affair, occurring Nov. 2-4.  Coach's CornerIke Cousins Head Baseball Coach Scott Stricklin  On the run production today... 'I thought we had some really good at-bats early. Innings one-through-four, I thought our guys were pretty locked in. We had good at-bats – almost every single guy went in there and battled and had good at-bats. Late in the game we did that too. I think the first four innings and the last four innings, I thought we were awfully good offensively. We took advantage of some things that they gave us – we got some walks, and they made a couple errors. Good teams take advantage of those things, so I thought early and late we were very good offensively.'   On what to improve on as fall practice continues... 'The bottom line is we gave up too many free passes. We walked or hit 17 guys today. We played 14 innings, that's a long day, but that's too many free passes, and that's going to come back to haunt you. So we have to be better in the strike zone. A lot of young guys out there getting their first taste of college baseball, so it was to be expected a little bit, but that needs to clean up. We need to throw more strikes; we need to be more aggressive in the zone. If we do, I think our pitching staff can be really, really good, when we put everybody together. A lot of young guys went out there, with some mixed results. Some guys were very good, some guys have a lot of work to do. More than anything, we've got to throw strikes.' Player's Perspective RS-Soph. 3rd #31 Riley King  On his approach at the plate... 'Coach has been preaching staying even, and just going with your gut. Staying even, not trying to get too hot, not trying to get too low. Just going in there with a lot of confidence. It's been a big thing for me...this year, I'm going up there with a lot more confidence.'   On the benefit of fall scrimmages as a hitter... 'Every week, we see the same guys (on our team). So being able to see new arms is pretty good – seeing different arm slots, different angles. Just getting the confidence against other people. When you see the same guys over and over, they start learning you, so being able to see a new pitcher is a good experience for sure.”
  • ATHENS, Ga. — Kirby Smart made it clear Georgia football isn’t ready to go away, even after a 36-16 defeat at LSU that dropped the Bulldogs to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 rankings. “T he message for us is everything we want is in front of us,” Smart said. “The key for us is to move forward. We still have a good football team. We still have an opportunity to do everything we want to do. “Every opportunity that we had before this game is still in front of us. The margin of error is just smaller. We’ve got to get better.” The Bulldogs’ odds to win the College Football Playoff championship are sure to drop from where they were last Monday, at 7-to-1 per VegasInsider. But odds and betting lines aren’t always accurate indicators, as last Saturday’s game in Death Valley proved. Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) was a 7-point favorite over LSU, largely based on the respect the team earned during its SEC championship season and College Football Playoff title game run of a year ago. This season’s UGA team has not beat an opponent that’s currently ranked in the Top 25 The Bulldogs lost several key pieces and rank as the youngest team in the SEC with more than two-thirds of the roster (68 percent) freshmen or sophomores. Still, Georgia controls its own destiny, with showdowns against Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 27 and at Kentucky on Nov. 3. “W e’re a team, and that we’re going to bounce back from this,” Smart told his team following the loss in Tiger Stadium Saturday night. “This is very similar to last year (losing at Auburn), we probably played better leading up to our loss last year, I didn’t think we had played as well this year.” SEC East Division co-leader and No. 11-ranked Florida (6-1, 4-1), like Georgia, has a bye this week. But upstart Kentucky (5-1, 3-1), ranked No. 14, is in action against Vanderbilt in a 7:30 p.m. game in Lexington. The Wildcats have opened as an 11 1/2-point favorite over the Commodores, according to VegasInsider.com. Vanderbilt was a hard-luck loser in Nashville on Saturday to Florida, 37-27. Kentucky, like Georgia, controls its own destiny having defeat the Gators 27-16 in Week 2. The Wildcats, whose only SEC defeat came at Texas A&M, play at Missouri on Oct. 27 leading up to their showdown with the Bulldogs. Here is the line for all of the SEC football games this week: Vanderbilt at Kentucky (-11 1/2) Alabama at Tennessee (TBA) Tulsa at Arkansas (TBA) Memphis at Missouri (-7) Auburn (-2 1/2) at Ole Miss Mississippi State at LSU (-6 1/2)   The post Georgia football odds for title diminish with loss, but Bulldogs control destiny appeared first on DawgNation.