|Things to See: Jack Davis ŕ la Drew Friedman|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Things to see, Jack Davis, Drew Friedman||25 Nov 2011 3:41 PM|
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Category >> Jack Davis
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "...Kevin Avery’s Everything Is an Afterthought... chronicles the dramatic life of one of music’s keenest observers, Paul Nelson, and curates his finest critiques.... I read and adored [Nelson] growing up, but reading [him] in the context of today’s critical standards gave me the literary equivalent to the bends. It goes without saying that, in the age of the Internet, the whole idea of a critic has changed." – Jim Farber, New York Daily News
• Review: "It could well be ten years since I last read these stories [in Queen of the Black Black], and I’d either forgotten or never appreciated (my money’s on the latter) how astute and insightful they could be. Like a proto-Kevin Huizenga, [Megan Kelso] repeatedly turns up little rocks of human experience and chronicles what’s going on underneath, reintroducing us to feelings, sensations, and experiences we’d forgotten we’d had but recognize as if they happened this morning." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal
• Review: "This collection of early stories from Megan Kelso shows a natural flair for the form, mixed with a self-critical determination to hone her craft, that’s helped her blossom into a master storyteller.... Anyone looking for a masterful example of the short story in comics would do well to give [Queen of the Black Black] a try. Beautifully written and well illustrated, this a wonderful portfolio of work from a creator showing a deep well of promise from the start." – Grovel
• Review: "...[E]asily... one of my favorite horror comics and one of my contenders for my Best of 2011 list.... Not only is the book carefully structured, it looks stunning.... The Hidden is a story that must be experienced to fully appreciate... There is an excellent story of slow-building despair to be found in its pages, with gorgeous depictions and coloring and a horror story that shocks, surprises, and entertains. Don't let this one get hidden on your shelves! It may not be Halloween, but I still give this book my highest recommendation!" – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter
• Review: "Volume 2 of Fantagraphics' Gottfredson Library, which takes us up through the beginning of 1934, maintains the high production standards and copious ancillaries of the first volume.... Tom Andrae's opening essay emphasizes, with good reason, how Gottfredson "spun off" many of his early narratives from the plots of animated cartoons. IMHO, however, the Mickey strip truly became "great" once Gottfredson gained the confidence to craft his own plots." – Chris Barat
• Plug: Pulitzer-winning author and known Love and Rockets fan Junot Díaz names Poison River by Gilbert Hernandez (collected in Beyond Palomar) one of his top 10 favorite books in an excerpt from Unpacking My Library: Writers and their Books posted at The Financial Times
• Plug: From Michael May's monthly cruise through the current Previews catalog at Robot 6: "The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics — I can’t decide if I’m more interested in the historical context of what folks were parodying in the ’50s or just looking at some cool Jack Davis and Kirby art that I’ve never seen before."
• Tribute: At The Comics Journal, Bill Griffith remembers meeting, and later collaborating with, the late Bil Keane: "I was surprised when Bil told me he read Zippy in his local Arizona paper and liked it. He didn’t even qualify his opinion with the usual, “Of course, I don’t always get it.” Until then, I hadn’t paid much attention to The Family Circus, but I slowly began to see that you could read more into it than what appeared on the surface. This was before internet wise guys began mashing up random Friedrich Nietzsche lines for Billy and Jeffy’s and riffing on the strip as unconscious surrealism. But The Family Circus didn’t need hipsters to substitute incongruous dialogue to make the case that it was unconscious surrealism. It was unconscious surrealism on its own."
One of America's most beloved and best known cartoonists, Jack Davis, will make a series of extremely rare appearances in New York City and Brooklyn in early December, to promote his new art book, JACK DAVIS: DRAWING AMERICAN POP CULTURE (published by Fantagraphics Books). These personal appearances will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet a living legend and one of medium's greatest practicioners.
On Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7PM, Davis will appear at New York's renowned Strand Bookstore, in conversation with Fantagraphics Books Publisher Gary Groth. The event will feature the world premiere of JACK DAVIS: DRAWING AMERICAN POP CULTURE.
On Friday, Dec. 2 at 6PM, Davis will be in attendance for an exhibition of his original art at the Scott Eder Gallery in Brooklyn.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, Davis will appear with Fantagraphics at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival, signing copies of JACK DAVIS: DRAWING AMERICAN POP CULTURE throughout the day and participating in a panel discussion with Gary Groth about his life and career (exact times t.b.a.).
Jack Davis arrived on the illustration scene in the euphoric post-war America of the late 1940s when consumer society was booming and the work force identified with commercial images that reflected this underlying sense of confidence and American bravado. Advertising agencies were looking for new ways to tap a rich and expanding market, and there was a vast array of media that needed illustrations. Davis' animated and exuberant images possessed a sense of spontaneous energy that proved to have universal appeal in every medium he worked in.
Beginning with his masterful pen and ink cartooning at EC Comics, he quickly forged a reputation as one of the most versatile artists in comics, drawing humor, horror, and war stories. In Harvey Kurtzman's MAD, especially, Davis made a mark as a master of caricature, composition, and wild, anarchic crowd scenes, practically vibrating with energy.
After stints at MAD, Trump, and Humbug — three humor magazines that defined the satirical zeitgeist of the '50s — Davis went on to become the most successful commercial illustrator of his generation, illustrating movie posters, magazine articles, magazine fiction, LP jackets, and more.
Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture is a gigantic, unparalleled career-spanning retrospective, between whose hard covers resides the greatest collection — in terms of both quantity and quality — of Jack Davis' work ever assembled!
For more information and a preview, please visit
Thursday, Dec. 1, 7PM:
Friday, Dec. 2, 6PM:
Saturday, Dec. 3, 12PM-9PM:
And you can catch what sounds like an amazing panel with Al Jaffee, Jack Davis, and the "Usual Gang of Idiots" on November 12th at 5:00 PM at the Trustees Theater [ 216 E. Broughton St., Savannah, Georgia ].
It's free, open to the public, and you'd be MAD to miss it!
Speaking of gorgeous art books that we just got advance copies of... Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture – A Career Retrospective arrived at the office today. Page after page after page of mouthwatering eye candy from one of the undisputed giants of illustration, all wrapped up in Tony Ong's eye-catching carnival-esque design. Just showing one spread like this does not do the book justice AT ALL, so be on the lookout for our upcoming previews!
Excitement for our big art book Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture is building, and in that spirit fan Mike Ewing took to Twitter to point out this great compilation of Davis's animated television commercials for various products, posted to YouTube by user "chiefzabu." Fun stuff! One stars Ruth Buzzi and to my ear it sounds like the great Frank Welker in the Lectric Shave one.
Comics are taking center stage in America's Heartland this autumn, as the University of Iowa presents the exhibit Graphic Language: The Art and Literature of Comics, which runs through December 11th.
There's gonna be a special section devoted to original work for EC Comics, from artists like Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Johnny Craig, and Bernard Kriegstein.
And covering the spectrum, the exhibit also spotlights contemporary cartoonists like Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Joe Sacco, Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Chris Ware, and Jessica Abel, as well as Alison Bechdel, Phoebe Gloeckner, Craig Thompson, John Porcellino, Jeff Lemire, James Sturm, and Matt Madden.
Holy crap, right? Well, it gets even more envy-enducing...
To tie into the exhibit, the University of Iowa presents Symposium on Comics, Creativity, and Culture: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, running through this weekend with some impressive panels:
Friday, October 6th
3:15-4:15 PM // Preservation and Presentation: The Art and Business of Comics Publishing: Join our fearless leader Gary Groth in panel with Peggy Burns (Drawn and Quarterly) and Craig Yoe (YOE! Books). [ University Capitol Centre 2520D ]
7:30 PM // Joe Sacco: Keynote Lecture and UI Lecture Committee Featured Speaker [ Shambaugh Auditorium ]
Saturday, October 8th
1:30-3:30 PM // Editing Comics Criticism and Scholarship: This round table discussion features Gary Groth, along with John Lent (Editor, The International Journal of Comic Art) and Frenchy Lunning (Editor, Mechademia) [ University Capitol Centre 2520D ]
You can view the entire schedule of events at the University of Iowa website. If you read this FLOG and live in Iowa, you better be there!
• Convention sketches inspired by song lyrics is a pretty great idea, and an Atlanta comic fan named Erich collects them and posts them on his blog. Above: Lisa Leavenworth + Mudhoney by Peter Bagge (hat tip: CBR)
• Steve Brodner draws and comments on last week's GOP debate, 9/11 cash-ins and this hilarious one on the fate of Anthony Weiner's House seat
Lots and lots of images to share, and lots and lots of overflow spilling over into links:
• We linked to this a while back in Daily OCD, but the interview with Lilli Carré at art:21 includes the first glimpse of her sketchbook I've ever seen (along with other art) and daaaang; Lilli also drew Groo the Wanderer for Matthew J. Brady 's theme sketchbook (there's a good one by Jeremy Tinder too) AND did this illustraton for The New York Times AND this amazing letterpress print
• Writer Dan Sinker shares the evolution of Paul Hornschemeier's cover illustration for The F***ing Epic Twitter Quest of @MayorEmanuel — via Paul's blog, where Paul also shares a website header illustration and accompanying interview; also, about umpteen new entries on his daily sketch blog The Daily Forlorn
• Lorenzo Mattotti previews 3 upcoming publishing projects: a graphic adaptation of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and a collection of Venice landscapes; and a collaboration with Art Spiegelman for an upcoming September 11-themed collection from Casterman
• Sergio Ponchione teases his Prof. Hackensack strip and illustrations in the new Linus as well as some recent illustrations of classical composers
• Speaking of Laura Park, Derek Van Gieson did this little jam strip with her on a recent visit to Chicago, where they and others also took part in a little Trubble Club action; more from Derek at his These Days I Remain blog
• Stephen DeStefano illustrated this poster for a new Washington, DC staging of Lithuanian Sweetheart, a play written by his Lucky in Love collaborator George Chieffet; also, an album cover illustration, Popeye playing hockey, Popeye playing soccer
• Louis C.K. fan art on Josh Simmons & Wendy Chin's Quackers blog (I'm not sure who did it — I'm guessing Wendy... and if you don't watch Louie you should) — meanwhile Josh has a couple new doodles on his The Furry Trap blog
• Frank Santoro is selling his sketches of "black & white boom" cover art, along with the original comics, to help keep him in cash while he works on his new comic — there's a new mythology piece on his Tumblr too
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.