Jack Davis is one of the original artists from “Mad” magazine. He has also illustrated covers from various outlets such as “Time” magazine to film posters for “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”. He also worked with Rankin/Bass productions on films like “Mad Monster Party”. Media Mikes had a chance to briefly chat with Jack about his various projects over the years.
Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got started working with “Mad” magazine?
Jack Davis: I was brought on by Harvey Kurtzman when he started “Mad” in 1952. I contributed a lot of illustrations to that magazine. I left though to work for Playboy and Hugh Hefner but I came back shortly after and worked with them for many years after.
MG: Is there a difference in your process when creating art in magazine’s differing from “Time” to “Mad”?
JD: It wasn’t much different. I really enjoyed doing the work for “Time”. They really let me do my one thing on the covers. I always thought they came out really nice.
MG: Tell us about working on film posters like “The Bad News Bears” and “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”?
JD: I would get an idea of what they wanted, then I would submit my variations. They would be both in color and black and white. They would go through them make changes, send them back to me and I would adjust my drawings.
MG: How did you get involved working with Rankin/Bass productions?
JD: Well, I guess they were “Mad” fans and they need some help with their character designs. I worked with them on many projects including “Mad Monster Party” and “King Kong” series. I enjoyed work with Rankin/Bass quite a lot, they are good people.
MG: Tell us about working with Rick Goldschmidt in both “Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass” and the “Making of a Rankin/Bass Holiday Classic: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”?
JD: Rick is a big fan and I appreciate that very much. He asked me to help contribute and I agreed. He has some really rare photos and drawings from Rankin/Bass productions. It was a real pleasure.
MG: What are you currently working on?
JD: Not really, I am retired here in Georgia. Occasionally, I do some lend my services for the local University here and make art for the Georgia Bull Dogs team.