It’s genuinely a hard task to pick my favorite cartoonist out of the original Mad Magazine crew. I admire Harvey Kurtzman, Bill Elder, Wally Wood and Jack Davis all greatly, and for different reasons. They were amazing draftsmen and funny as all get out. But I think Jack Davis would win out in the inking category. His inks are amazing to look at; the variety of line weight, the tangible texture of clothes and faces that he is able to create from the stroke of a pen, is not only instructive but really pleasing to the eye (much of this attention to detail is on display on the splash page of “Hoohaw”).
But the thing I notice most about a Jack Davis drawing: the shoes and hands. The men’s shoes have such great detail and specificity. And the hands, well, they may be, hands down (oi!), the best in the business; you can see every joint, how they all work together to form an actual, functional mechanism. Indeed, a Jack Davis comic panel is a treat to behold.
Long live Jack Davis, the King of Hands!