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R.I.P. Jack Davis: Comics Pioneer, 'MAD' Mainstay and True Playboy

R.I.P. Jack Davis: Comics Pioneer, ‘MAD’ Mainstay and True Playboy

In the illustration and comics world, it feels like the passing of illustrator Jack Davis is the loss of the last of the great Southern Gentlemen. Added up, his 91 years on this planet contributed countless magazine, book and album covers, advertisements, posters, and comics with a warm style all his own. Going back to the early 1950s, Davis became an immediate influence on other artists. During the heyday of the classic and very controversial E.C. Comics, other comic companies were swiping full panel layouts from such noted E.C. artists as Wally Wood, Jack Kamen and Graham Ingels. The first underground comix artists of the ‘60s, such as Robert Crumb and Spain Rodriguez, cite the E.C. artists as inspirations. The late comic artist Darwyn Cooke noted that he looked to Davis for inspiration while drawing a run on DC Comics’s Jonah Hex weird western series. And many contemporary comic artists from the alternative scene have cited Davis as an inspiration: Jim Woodring, noted for…