Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jack Davis

Graduate students Allen Spetnagel, Chris Schweizer, and Doug Dabbs along with alum Hunter Clark took a trip to see the legendary Jack Davis. Here's Allen's report and a few photos:

"A few weeks back, several members of the Sequential Art Department made the pilgrimage to Athens, Georgia to hear a panel discussion featuring the mighty Jack Davis. Davis, best known for his work with EC Comics and MAD Magazine, spoke a little about his experience creating illustrations both macabre and humorous. He described his collaboration with the immortal Harvey Kurtzman, who would write and layout many of the comics for EC and MAD. Davis would then render them in his own style. Influenced by radio and the experience of telling ghost stories as a boy scout, Davis fondly recollected producing work for EC that “scared the life out of little kids.” Davis’ work in the horror genre was cut short by a Senator Kefauver and one Dr. Frederic Wertham, psychiatrist and author of “Seduction of the Innocent.” These men spearheaded a sort of witch-hunt against the comics industry, bringing about the self-imposed industry restrictions of the Comics Code Authority. When asked what he would say to Dr. Wertham if he met him today, Davis replied: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” If EC had not been shut down, Davis might never have gone on to create his more humorous work in the pages of MAD and as a freelance illustrator. His favorite cartoonist is Gary Larson. A young boy in the audience asked Jack what his favorite thing to draw is. He replied that he was most interested in Cowboys and Confederate Soldiers. It was a great privilege to hear from one of the last remaining EC Artists, a Georgia native and a true Southern Gentleman."

(left to right) Chris Schweizer, Allen Spetnagel,
Jack Davis, Doug Dabbs, and Hunter Clark.

The cartoonist panel for the event.

The well-shaven Hunter and Doug.

Schweizer contemplating Drew's beard.

Thanks for another great report, guys!

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