Jack Davis
December 2, 1924 – July 27, 2016

Jack became part of our Cowsill lives when, in 1969, Jack drew the cartoon cover for Best Of The Cowsills. This was one of only five rock group covers that Jack did.

Athens (Georgia) Banner-Herald says:

Davis, born in 1924 in Atlanta, attended the University of Georgia after serving in the U.S. Navy. At UGA, he studied under the noted Lamar Dodd at the art school, at the same time becoming a lifelong fan of UGA football.

After finishing school, he moved to New York and began doing freelance work for EC Comics, where his art appeared in “Tales from the Crypt,” “Incredible Science Fiction” and a number of other EC Comics publications.

In 1952, he became one of the original artists for the satirical Mad magazine, where his work appeared for decades.

His career included works that appeared in Time magazine, for which he did 36 cover illustrations, as well as TV Guide, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and Reader’s Digest.

Davis also drew movie posters, with work for “Bananas,” “The Long Goodbye,” “American Graffiti” and “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” in his portfolio.

In 1989, he was commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service to design a stamp honoring letter carriers. The stamp features three postal workers drawn in Davis’ immediately recognizable style.

But for Georgia football fans, it is Davis’ comical caricatures of Bulldogs trouncing opponents and celebrating gridiron victories that will form his lasting legacy. Like most of his cartooning, his snarling Bulldogs were characterized by big heads, skinny legs and large feet.

Prints of his Bulldog drawings, which include a number of posters for the celebrated annual football game between UGA and the University of Florida and a commemoration of the team’s 1980 national championship, can be found hanging almost anywhere that University of Georgia sports fans gather to celebrate their team.

“Sometimes things and people just connect, somewhat naturally,” Loran Smith, the Georgia historian who served as the Bulldogs’ sideline reporter and has authored books on UGA football, said in a 2011 interview with the Athens Banner-Herald on Davis’ work. “His cartoons really connected because people really liked it.”

Davis had not drawn much during the last few years of his life. In a 2014 interview, Davis told Wired Magazine, “I’m not satisfied with the work. I can still draw, but I just can’t draw like I used to.”

Davis’ work earned him a host of honors during his lifetime, including induction into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2005. He is also a recipient of the National Cartoonist Society’s Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, Davis received the National Cartoonists Society’s Advertising Award for 1980 and their Reuben Award for 2000.

In 2007, Davis was honored by UGA with an Alumni Merit Award, which recognizes UGA alumni for lifetime loyalty and support of the Alumni Association.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday on St. Simons Island.

Jack Davis Cover Front

Jack Davis Cover Back

Chicago Tribune Obit - August 2, 2016

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