Jack Davis arrived on the illustration scene in the euphoric post-war Americaof the late 1940s when consumer society was booming and the work forceidentified with commercial images that reflected this underlying sense of confidence and American bravado. Advertising agencies were looking for new waysto tap a rich and expanding market, and there was a vast array of media thatneeded illustrations. Davis' animated and exuberant images possessed a senseof spontaneous energy that proved to have universal appeal in every mediumhe worked in.
Beginning with his masterful pen and ink cartooning at EC Comics, hequickly forged a reputation as one of the most versatile artists in comics, drawing humor, horror, and war stories. InHarvey kurtzman's MAD, especially, Davis made a mark as a master of caricature, composition, and wild, anarchiccrowd 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, magazinearticles, magazine fiction, LP jackets, and more.
Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture is a gigantic, unparalleled career-spanning retrospective, between whosehard 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 collegehumor 'zine, The Bull Sheet; examples of his comics work from EC, MAD, Humbug, Trump, and obscure work he didfor other companies in the 1950s such as Dell; movie posters including It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Bad NewsBears, Woody Allen's Bananas, The Party, and others; LP jacket art for such musicians and bands as Hans Conreid andthe Creature Orchestra's Monster Rally, Spike Jones and Ben Cooler; cartoons and illustrations from Playboy, Sports Illustrated,Time, TV Guide, Esquire, and many others; unpublished illustrations and drawings Davis did as self-promotionalpieces, proposed comic strips that never sold (such as his Civil War epic "Beaureagard"), finished drawings for unrealizedmagazine projects - and even illustrations unearthed in the Davis archives that the artist himself can't identify!
Much of the material will be scanned directly from original art, showing the painterly brush strokes and black andwhite pen work with far greater fidelity than any previous reproduction ever has. Many paintings and illustrations areaccompanied by preliminary drawings that demonstrate the evolution of Davis' drawing process.