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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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Local News

  • A 22-year-old University of Georgia student was shot during an armed robbery in Athens, according to police. Athens-Clarke County police say they were called to the shooting on South Milledge Avenue near the 10 Loop just after 7:15 a.m. Monday. Shortly after, they received another call about an armed robbery at the same location. We have a reporter and photographer on the scene where police plan to hold a news conference to release more information within the next hour. WATCH it LIVE on WSBTV.com and stay with Channel 2 Action News for LIVE reports as this story develops. Channel 2 Action News obtained an email to students, faculty and staff Monday morning, in which a school official said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Georgia State Patrol are assisting the Athens Clarke County Police Department in investigating the two armed robberies that happened just off campus. #Breaking Witnesses tell me the UGA student was shot at this off campus bus stop. They told me they heard two gunshots then ran outside and saw the victim. More at noon. — Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) April 22, 2019 TRENDING STORIES: ‘Armed and extremely dangerous': Police search for gunman who ambushed officer Church pays $120K to bail out first-time offenders for Easter ‘You told me to': Video shows Charlotte police officer kill man following orders to drop gun The student was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. 'I was just laying in bed and I heard 'pow pow' and I was like 'whoa,' and it was (really) sad,' student Zac Ethridge said. 'We are deeply saddened by these tragic and shocking events,' the email said. Police are searching for a black male with dreads or twists driving an early 2000 model white Ford Mustang convertible with a tan roof.
  • There is a traffic heads up for drivers in Athens, a campus construction advisory from the University of Georgia: UGA says the southbound sidewalk and bike lane on the west side of East Campus Road will be closed from the current DEP2, Computer Services, and Museum of Natural History driveway entrance up to approximately mid-block for the temporary construction office entrance concrete pour. The sidewalk on the east side of East Campus Drive will still be accessible for pedestrians.
  • Senator Bill Cowsert and state Representatives Houston Gaines and Marcus Weidower are the scheduled speakers for tonight’s meeting of the Oconee County Republican Party. They’ll recap the legislative session that ended earlier this month in a 6:30 session at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Watkinsville.  An Athens-Clarke County Commission work session is on tap for today, underway at 4 o’clock this afternoon at City Hall.  A town hall with Winterville Mayor Dodd Ferrelle is set for 7 o’clock tonight. It’ll take place at the Depot in Winterville.  Madison County Commissioners meet tonight: it’s a 6 o’clock this evening at the Madison County Government Complex in Danielsville. Jackson County Commissioners meet at 6 at the courthouse in Jefferson. 
  • A man was killed by an Athens-Clarke County officer after authorities said he brandished a shotgun at police while they were trying to talk to him.  Carlton Steve Brooks, 63, was shot and killed after he answered his door with a shotgun in his hands, authorities said. Athens police called the GBI to investigate the incident. Athens-Clarke police said the fatal police shooting happened about 11:40 p.m. Saturday. Officers were sent to a home on Hull Road on a “peeping Tom” call, the department said in statement. Officers spoke to the victim, who identified a suspect, the department said. The officers went to the suspect’s home, which was also on Hull Road, police said.  According to the GBI, officers knocked on the Brooks’ door and announced themselves. Before answering the door, one of the officers saw a man inside with a weapon, the GBI said. The officers moved back from the door and gave repeated commands to put down the weapon. That’s when Brooks opened the door with the gun in his hands. “Brooks pointed the weapon towards one of the officers, who then fired twice,” the GBI said.  According to the police department, officers administered first aid to the man, and he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. No officers were harmed in the shooting.  The department said the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave with pay in “accordance with department policy.”  An autopsy will be conducted at the GBI Crime Lab.  This is the 29th officer-involved shooting investigation that the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2019. The last such investigation was opened April 15, when a police chase that started in Alabama ended near Fort Benning.  RELATED: Man shot by deputies after Alabama police chase ends near Fort Benning In other news: 
  • Officials with the National Weather Service have confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down early Friday morning.  The tornado formed in Hall County around 5:50 a.m. and was on the ground for an estimated 2.5 miles.  Channel 2's Richard Elliot was in Hall County Friday, where the storm ripped a steeple off Dewberry Baptist Church north of Gainesville and sent a tree crashing through the church's fellowship hall.  No injuries were reported. Storms left damage across north Georgia including downed trees and power lines, flooding and washed out roads.  Reporters from Channel 2 Action News fanned out all across the state to bring you live coverage of the worst-hit areas.  Road collapses in multiple spots, following storms. We’re live in Buckhead: Ch. 2, 6 p.m. pic.twitter.com/5hhEV5u10O — Rikki Klaus (@RikkiKlausWSB) April 20, 2019 RELATED LINKS: Download the FREE Severe Weather Team 2 App! Massive oak tree falls on box truck, trapping driver inside 4 Forsyth County firefighters injured during storm response Flooding leaves at least a dozen vehicles underwater at car dealership PHOTOS: Severe weather knocks down trees, washes out roads in metro Atlanta    

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Stetson Bennett began G-Day with the Black Team on Saturday, but he ended it with the Red Team. In his mind, that meant he was going to have steak and lobster for dinner rather than the Beanie Weanies that go to the losing team. “I’m getting steak,” Bennett said after the 22-17 Red Team win this past Saturday. “I get to choose what I want. I made that rule; nobody has told me that for sure yet. But I’m definitely planning on having steak tonight.” J.J. Holloman turned this reception of a pass from Stetson Bennett into a 43-yard game-winning touchdown for the Red Team in the fourth quarter of the G-Day Game on Saturday. (Lauren Tolbert/UGA Athletics) Bennett could certainly make a good argument for eating with the victorious Red squad. After all, it was his 43-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Holloman with 8:09 remaining in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winner. The scoring play, which came on a post route by Holloman against starting cornerback Eric Stokes on second-and-8, gave the Red a 19-17 lead that would hold up the rest of the way. It came at the end of what was a pretty good day for Bennett, who exited spring practice as the Bulldogs’ No. 2 quarterback behind junior Jake Fromm. For the day, he went 12-of-23 passing for 210 yards and a touchdown while playing for both teams. That broke down as 4-of-9 for 82 yards with no TDs or interceptions with the Black squad and 8-of-14 for 128 yards and a score with the Red team. Bennett was charged with one sack for minus-5 yards with the Black as well. “It was pretty special,” said Bennett, who transferred back to Georgia after spending last season at Jones County (Miss.) Junior College. “I’ll probably look back over the summer and appreciate it more. This was my second game in Sanford Stadium and it was a little bit better than the first one. It was pretty cool.” It represented a much better day under much better circumstances than Bennett experienced during the 2018 G-Day Game. Bennett also played for both squads that day but left feeling like he wasn’t given a fair shake to compete with Justin Fields for backup duties behind Fromm. Fields has, of course, since transferred to Ohio State. Now Bennett is competing with true freshman D’Wan Mathis for the backup spot. “I felt more like a quarterback today than just piece like I did last year,” said bennett, who was a combined 5-of-9 for 73 yards for both squads in the 2018 G-Day Game. “I felt good coming out here and playing with my buddies and playing well, having them make plays. It was pretty cool I enjoyed it.” Mathis had a decent Saturday as well. Operating with a pared-down offensive package, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound Mathis was 15-of-28 for 113 yards throwing the ball and had a 20-yard run off a scramble. But he was also sacked five times and threw an interception. Fromm was disappointed with a day that saw him complete only 14-of-29 passes for 116 yards and throw a pick-6 on the Red Team’s first offensive possession. He threw got one 13-yard touchdown on a check-down throw to running back Brian Herrien in the third quarter. Overall, it was only a so-so day for quarterbacks and the Georgia offense. But nobody is expecting the outcome to affect the depth chart going forward. The Bulldogs will enter fall camp with the same pecking order it started spring camp. That is, with a depth chart the sets up as Fromm, Bennett and Mathis, in that order. “Both those guys did a nice job of managing it,” coach Kirby Smart said of Bennett and Mathis. “A lot of throwing situations, not a lot of (elaborate) defenses. … We scaled back a lot of the offense. A lot of the new things we’re doing weren’t in that package today. But I was pleased with the way Stetson and D’Wan managed the game and that’s important for their growth. They’re only going to get better through practicing and repping and playing in that kind of environment.” Bennett certainly came away feeling a lot more positive about his situation than he did this time a year ago. He said he knows he’s not about to unseat Fromm as the starter and that there is no guarantee that he’ll even be the primary backup ahead of Mathis by the time the season starts on Aug. 31. “I don’t really know,” he said of his role this season. “My goal is for us to win a national championship, win the SEC, win the East, beat Vandy up there in Nashville in the first game of the season. Just to win, play really well and play Georgia football, play for these fans who came out here today, 52,000 of them in not great weather. That’s really my goal for the season, just be the best I can be.” Bennett’s situation could be entirely different. After his season in junior college, he received multiple offers from non-Power 5 schools who offered him the opportunity to become a first-year starter. But playing football at Georgia always has been priority one for Bennett, who grew up in Blackshear as the son of a alumni parents. “Somebody asked me, ‘why’d you come back if you’re going to have all these 5-stars ahead of you?’ I’ll answer it the same way: I don’t really worry about who else is coming in,” Bennett said. “I don’t really worry about who’s here. If I can just do my part for the team and get better every single day, then I’m fine with it. So, you know, I’m just going to compete every day with myself and try to make the best throws at practice and we’ll see how it works out.” But no matter how you slice it up, it’s a better situation than Bennett had when he decided to transfer to junior college last summer. “I’m not going to transfer this summer; I’m not going to show up in the portal, so that’s different,” Bennett said with a laugh. “It was better. I got more reps this spring, played better, my team won, because I flip-flopped and was on the Red Team at the end.” The post WATCH: Role on team still undefined, QB Stetson Bennett in it for long haul Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Football is a game that’s amazing when shown live, and sometimes even more fascinating on replay. The cuts, catches and collisions that “wow” us in the moment are most often just as impressive — if not more so — in slow motion. The so-called “broken” plays can’t be explained in the moment, but film review tells all as Kirby Smart and his coaching staff could attest. The @UGAAthletics Twitter account put out a highlight reel from the G-Day Game that will excite Georgia fans who saw those plays for the first time — and inform those who were with family or on business and couldn’t watch the game. It’s worth the click, as several new faces and numbers appear on the verge of starring roles with the Bulldogs’ national championship contending 2019 team. It’s an impressive collection of Eric Stokes’ Pick-6, D’Andre Swift’s electric cut on soggy turf, Brian Herrien’s bulldozer run past J.R. Reed and the surprisingly effective passes from backup quarterbacks Stetson Bennett and D’Wan Mathis.   Couldn’t make it to #GDay? We’ve got you covered with the highlights. #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/hRCrxsekpP — Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) April 22, 2019   Georgia football DawgNation G-Day Game Kirby comments on freshmen phenom linebackers Nakobe Dean, Nolan Smith WATCH: Brian Herrien looks strong in G-Day Game WATCH: Matt Landers discusses his G-Day performance WATCH: Georgia G-Day Game beat writers breakdown RELATED: Eric Stokes experiences good and bad at cornerback WATCH: Kirby Smart shares thoughts on G-Day Game Georgia football lands major commitment on G-Day Demetris Robertson illness revealed by Kirby Smart Stock report from Georgia G-Day Game Instant analysis of Georgia football G-Day Game Georgia G-Day Game football report card   The post WATCH: ‘Wow’ plays abound in Georgia athletics G-Day Game highlight video appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia hasn’t wasted any time testing freshmen early enrollee linebackers Nakobe Dean and Nolan Smith. The trend continued on Saturday in the G-Day Game, with Dean and Smith getting repetitions with the Black Team, which featured the first-team defense.. Coach Kirby Smart said it had to do with how repetitions were distributed. But it also provided the coaching staff with a look at how Dean and Smith would fare in reps against the first string offense of the Red Team. Dean proved active, making five tackles with a pass break-up against the first-team offense. Dean is an instinctive inside linebacker with great acceleration to the football, and he appeared surprisingly comfortable and agile in pass coverage. Senior Tae Crowder and junior Monty Rice exit spring drills with the upper hand at inside linebackers, both tested veterans. But Smart left the door open for Dean to continue to compete for a starting position. “His role could be as much as a starting linebacker, or his role could be as much a special teams player this year, he could be at third down guy,” Smart said when asked by DawgNation about Dean’s role moving forward. “It’s going to be determined by the other players and himself, and how much he grows and gets better.” Smith’s day was considerably quieter. The No. 1-ranked recruit in the 2019 signing class was often matched with Outland Trophy candidate Andrew Thomas. Still, it was worth noting how Smart and other UGA players praised Smith throughout much of spring drills. The UGA coaching staff talked Smith up to the SEC Network commentators during the G-Day Game broadcast prep. “Nolan Smith is a highly touted recruit, a guy who came up in a lot in our conversions with coaches,” former UGA lineman and College Football Hall of Fame 2018 inductee Matt Stinchcomb said. “He’s a guy who can bend the edge, but his work ethic was what really impressed.” Smart said both Dean and Smith have had a great “progression” this spring. “They are both very bright, they are both very sharp, intelligent, mature freshmen,” Smart said. “But they have not been through a college football fall, they have not been through a college football game. “They haven’t played in an SEC game, and they both have a lot of growing to do. But I’m pleased with where they are.” Georgia football DawgNation G-Day Game WATCH: Brian Herrien looks strong in G-Day Game WATCH: Matt Landers discusses his G-Day performance WATCH: Georgia G-Day Game beat writers breakdown RELATED: Eric Stokes experiences good and bad at cornerback WATCH: Kirby Smart shares thoughts on G-Day Game Georgia football lands major commitment on G-Day Demetris Robertson illness revealed by Kirby Smart Stock report from Georgia G-Day Game Instant analysis of Georgia football G-Day Game Georgia G-Day Game football report card   The post Georgia G-Day Game: Nakobe Dean active inside, Nolan Smith bottled up outside appeared first on DawgNation.