July 28, 2016

2 pictures of Presidents and the Russians who were out to get them.





You see why I put those up? Because of Trump and Putin? Nyet!!! Because Jack Davis died.
Jack Davis, an illustrator who poked fun at celebrities and politicians in Mad magazine for decades and whose work appeared on the covers of Time and TV Guide, died on Wednesday in St. Simons Island, Ga. He was 91....

He got his start in 1950 selling drawings to EC Comics, which published horror fiction titles like “Tales From the Crypt.” Two years later, amid an outcry over the potentially harmful effects of violent comics on children, the company started what became Mad magazine, edited by Harvey Kurtzman. Mr. Davis was a member of the “Usual Gang of Idiots,” the nickname for the crew that put out the magazine.
Goodbye to a great man!

35 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Great image of Nixon. The current PC culture would never permit MAD Magazine. They are humorless twerps afraid of women and any culture group except WASP.

Bay Area Guy said...

Yes, Godspeed, Mr. Davis. Many fond memories of reading (and laughing aloud at) Mad Magazine in the 70s.

Ann Althouse said...

When "string" bikinis were so new scare quotes were needed.

Original Mike said...

Who's tugging on Nixon?

Quaestor said...

Inadvertently you did write about Trump. Jack Davis was the staff cartoonist.

Ann Althouse said...

"Who's tugging on Nixon?"

Is it Rumsfeld??

Ann Althouse said...

I discovered Mad in the drugstore magazine rack in about 1961. It was life-transforming. I couldn't believe how great it was. I was eager to tell my girlfriends, and I was disturbed to be told that Mad was for boys... like I wouldn't look pretty reading it and no one would ever want to marry me.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Nixon shmixon; you guys are missing the meaty, in-depth journalistic opus that is Time magazine 1974:

New "String" Bikinis

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I was eager to tell my girlfriends, and I was disturbed to be told that Mad was for boys... like I wouldn't look pretty reading it and no one would ever want to marry me.

You showed 'em. What'd they read, anyway?

rehajm said...

It's Henry Jackson..

Original Mike said...

"is it Rumsfeld??"

In his role as Ambassador to NATO? Not a very good likeness.

Quaestor said...

When "string" bikinis were so new scare quotes were needed.

Back then they were scare quotes. They're euphemism quotes by comparison to string bikinis today, which really are strings. They're so small the laws of quantum mechanics apply.

Bay Area Guy said...

I was eager to tell my girlfriends, and I was disturbed to be told that Mad was for boys... like I wouldn't look pretty reading it and no one would ever want to marry me.

And where are those girlfriends today? Probably lost in the game life, without the laughter and mirth, they woulda got from Mad Magazine!

rehajm said...

Thank you, Mr. Davis. Subscriber from the issue with the Jaws fold-in - many a night under cover with the flashlight...

Original Mike said...

Blogger rehajm said..."It's Henry Jackson.."

Bingo!

Quaestor said...

I was disturbed to be told that Mad was for boys... like I wouldn't look pretty reading it and no one would ever want to marry me.

Maybe that's why you look so sad and withdrawn in that 60's photo of yourself that you've published here a few times. You were still brooding on being denied MAD.

Original Mike said...

"I was eager to tell my girlfriends, and I was disturbed to be told that Mad was for boys... like I wouldn't look pretty reading it and no one would ever want to marry me."

My mother was a big MAD Magazine fan. When she got a new copy, I went for Spy vs Spy first.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Isn't Mr. Davis mixing his myths in the Khrushchev/Kennedy one on top? Kennedy as Atlas + Sampson? Or did Atlas just need a trim?

buwaya puti said...

Girls usually give bad advice.
This is life's wisdom.

Unknown said...

When George W. Bush was visiting India, I recall an American commentator's bemusement about the stories on the visit in the Indian English press. He couldn't figure out what was striking him as odd, aside from the idiosyncrasies of Indian English. Then he figured it out: The stories were written by people who didn't hate George W. Bush.

Similarly, I'm struck by Davis's Nixon. It looks like a caricature drawn by someone who didn't hate Richard Nixon, or could actually effectively hide it. That makes it practically unique..

Robert Cook said...

Davis was great. Back in the early 1980s, a kid in my first life drawing class, a very talented draughtsman, told me was had caddied for Jack Davis at the golf/country club where he golfed. This was when Davis still lived up in Westchester or thereabouts, before he moved back to his home state of Georgia.

A couple of years ago a small gallery in DUMBO (Brooklyn) that specializes in showing cartoonists, had a show of Davis' work. To see in person was glorious! The man himself attended with his wife. I can say I was in the presence of greatness for a little while!

Susan said...

I can guarantee with 99.9% certainty that I did not have as many friends as our genial hostess back when I first discovered Mad Magazine. But friend I did have happily read it with me.

Karen of Texas said...

I nicked my older brother's copies of MAD. Spy vs spy was always my first stop.

Am I the only one who read Tales from the Crypt??

Ann Althouse said...

I did ultimately get my girlfriends to appreciate Mad.

I was kind of a trend leader when I was around 9 to 13.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"Back then they were scare quotes. They're euphemism quotes by comparison to string bikinis today, which really are strings. They're so small the laws of quantum mechanics apply."

*********

One of my young tenants hung a thong up to dry.

I thought, "what a colorful eyepatch".

Bay Area Guy said...

There's nothing better than pure laughter. Mad Magazine gave me a lot that. I think at 13 or 14, we understandably migrated towards National Lampoon -- the occasional pic of naked girl did it.

But, looking back, Alfred E. Neuman gave more joy.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I got my haircut yesterday.

Walmart.

I usually go to a great place for clips, but not yesterday.

Now I see this.

Gaslighting, friendos, works to fuel me. It's further opportunity for Christ to speak through me, unwittingly to me always without the hindsight 20/20.

I have tried for years and failed to find more motivation than that which ungaslighting always delivers without fail.

William said...

I want from Mad to National Lampoon to Spy. Nowadays there's nothing. Even the cartoons in the New Yorker aren't all that great anymore. If you're a smart ass, you just wander alone in the wilderness. The Democratic Convention just begs for parody, but it's treated like Mother Theresa's funeral.

Mrs. Bear said...

Jack Davis, it should be noted, was also superb at Civil War stories. God bless him.

Indigo Red said...

"Who's tugging on Nixon?"

Leonid Brezhnev.

What do I win?

Original Mike said...

"What do I win?"

You lose.

vza said...

RIP and thank you, Jack Davis. My Dad always said the sounds he loved best, were of his kids giggling and laughing. MAD was responsible for a lot of that laughter. Great memories.

Rance Fasoldt said...

Mad Magazine was originally Mad Comics. I picked up issue No. 2 in Myrtle Beach in 1952, as I recall, when I was 11. I can still remember the stories, like The Blob. I wrote away for issue No. 1, and dutifully collected every issue until it changed to a magazine. My mom gave the whole stack away when they moved from St. Louis in 1968, 16 years and 3 cities later. I found out when my kids spilled the beans. Mom swore them to secrecy, since she realized what a mistake that had been. God bless her, I'd forgotten about them.

mockturtle said...

Leonid Brezhnev.

What do I win?


Nothing. It's Brezhnev shaking Nixon's hand, not tugging at his coat tail.

traditionalguy said...

I still remember the USSR's peace proposal to Kennedy according to Mad. It summed up the Cold War reality.

"In exchange for the eastern half of the USA, the USSR will pledge eternal Soviet friendship'"