Archive for the ‘Jack Davis’ Category
What could be better than an entire comic book illustrated by Jack Davis? A gold bathtub full of 100 dollar bills? Armenian spider monkeys trained in the deadly art of Yoga? The entire run of The Mike Douglas Show played on a loop while you are rubbed down with scented oils by Russian supermodels who may or may not posses the ability to travel back in time? Nothing, of course.
My version of Francesca from Mad Monster Party (1967) in her green dress, done in brush pen.
Jack Davis, like the other Mad artists, was a jack of all trades. Not only did he produce a wealth of outstanding comic book material, but he also did quite a bit of other freelance work. Ads, album covers and probably most notable of all, movie posters. During the 60s and 70s, Jack Davis illustrated dozens of movie posters and his work is some of the most iconic, hilarious and visually stunning work in movie history. You can’t mistake a Jack Davis movie poster. Besides his signature style and caricature work, Davis designed posters that were overflowing with life, an anarchistic bent that made it impossible to take in all at once. Scenes and characters from the films filled the composition, pushing into the white boarders. The wackier the movie, the better reference for Davis. His poster for Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) might be his most famous: dozens of characters from the movie spilling forth from the cracked Earth globe, wrapping their way madly above the type face. It’s staggering to look at because, well, there is simply so much to look at. But it all works. The image may seem out of control, but the layout and composition isn’t. Another great example is Woody Allen’s Bananas (1971). Besides the dead-on caricature of Allen, Davis is able to sum up the entire film in a single illustration. Forget a trailer, I would rather have Jack Davis’ poster. Even when the film is utterly forgettable, Jack Davis’ art is not. It’s so fun and full of chaos, that sometimes the poster gives the film more credit than it deserves.
Stay tuned for Part Two…