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Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture: A Career Retrospective Hardcover – December 12, 2011


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Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture: A Career Retrospective + MAD's Greatest Artists: Mort Drucker: Five Decades of His Finest Works
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (December 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606994476
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606994474
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 10.5 x 13.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“The only real problem with this beautifully produced book is that it’s much, much too short.... The art reproduces gorgeously... and the volume as a whole is an effort to give Davis the respect he deserves as a legitimate artist.” (Hillary Brown - Paste)

“This giant gift-book portfolio of Davis' work reflects the high standard of design and archival presentation that is Fantagraphics' specialty... and it affords readers a panoramic view of the evolution and contributions of one of this country's most recognizable and influential cartoonists.” (Casey Burchby - SF Weekly)

“The Davis book… fill[s]… 200 pages with full-sized examples of the half-cartoony/half-photographic approach that Davis brought to Mad magazine and countless movie posters. [It] offer[s] ample visual evidence of how [Davis] found the 'art' in commercial art, turning work-for-hire assignments into opportunities to express [his] particular vision… of the world.” (Noel Murray - The A.V. Club)

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture – A Career Retrospective is a wonderful tribute to the prolific artist... An amazing lifetime of work.” (The Christian Science Monitor)

About the Author

One of America’s most beloved and best known illustrators, Jack Davis was born in December 2, 1924 in Atlanta, Georgia, and still makes his home in the area.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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I look forward and hope for more books on him.
Thing
Being a Jack Davis fan from way back, I have most of the books concerning his work, but this one contains lots of art I hadn't seen before.
Diego Cordoba
His TV Guide and TIME covers, what could have been the best sections of this book, also suffers poor size choices.
P. Mccall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By P. Mccall on December 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is not that work.
This is one of the ugliest books I've ever added to my collection. The choice of orange, brown, red and green for the color scheme of the cover and the topic division pages is unfortunate and unappealing. The buff color matte paper stock works against a clean presentation of Davis' work.
Poor choices were made in the size of many of the pieces. Examples of his "Beauregard" comic strip are reproduced smaller than most current newspaper comics! 4" x 1.25"!
Some of the pen and ink line pieces look as if they were reproduced from bad xeroxes and then enlarged to look even worse.
His TV Guide and TIME covers, what could have been the best sections of this book, also suffers poor size choices. Cramming 9 covers onto one page reduces beautiful caricature work down to an exercise in teasing the reader. And then you find simple single figure drawings enlarged to full bleed, full page size or a simple circus drawing, while superb in itself, as a double page spread.
I ordered this book more than 6 months ago when word first appeared of it. Even now the "Look Inside" pages only hint at the ugliness of this volume.
At about 200 pages this book is also far too brief for an artist whose work has encompassed more than 50 years!
Jack Davis' work is still in need of a massive, well designed, beautiful career retrospective book.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Billy Batz on December 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantagraphics really dropped the ball with this one. The chronology of the art is out of order ( only one image is used for Jack' War comics and that is cut in half as it is used as a two page spread),Half the art used is BLURRY! Half the art is small THUMBNAIL pics of his Time and T.V. Guide covers (that body of work alone would serve as a great art book, printing them at actual size would be nice. TRY AGAIN Fantagraphics. Also did they print this book at LULU Press? my copy is warped ad the corners were crushed as well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on December 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Despite some quite silly editorial lapses I think this will end up as the definitive portfolio for Jack Davis fans and I've been one for decades. Thirteen by ten inches, 208 pages and with plenty of color. The eight chapters: Early years; Comics; Record covers and Movie posters; Gags and Illustration; Time and TV Guide; Advertising; Biography; Tributes to Jack Davis, more or less cover his creative life and each has a generous sampling of his wonderful work. You can always identify it because he always draws people with very long feet

'Gags and illustration' with fifty pages is the longest chapter with a range of work from past decades and nicely it includes some whole page illustrations with roughs on the facing page. The Time and TV Guide chapter unfortunately only has eighteen Time covers out of the many he painted although eleven of these are large reproductions without the logo or red border. TV Guide also has eighteen covers but only one large blow-up of the cover painting.

The editorial, especially the production, really should have been better though. The major fault for me was a complete lack of any captions under or near the illustrations. No dates or a bit of background information to explain anything. The Art of Jack Davis by Hank Harrison would have identified and dated most of the art. Amazingly there is some information in the last two pages of the book where it's called End Notes, thirty-three sort of caption-like material appears but it only refers to a small number of illustrations throughout the book. Why the publisher's thought the readers should flip backwards and forwards to find out about a particular image is beyond me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thing on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Personally I feel the negative reviews of this book are really really unfair.
Jack Davis is my favourite Mad Magazine artist, and easily one of my favourite artists ever, so I am able to be both critical and appreciative of efforts to put a book together on him, and books on Jack are very few, and none are in print.
I cannot understand the complete harsh negativity of the reviews here, and I am a fairly critical person myself.
I CAN understand some of the disappointments, but cannot see why they do not talk about the many fantastic things in this book.

Here are the reasons I defend and love! this book.
There are a LOT of fantastic reproductions of JD's work in this book, and they are large scale.
I agree with previous reviews that there are a few pages of JD's art and strips that are printed so small that I can't see why they bothered to print those pages at all,
and a few poor decisions in page layout that way are here-and-there in the book, such as a few film poster artworks that should have been given full pages which instead are printed two or four to a page....
But these are quibbles.
There is easily enough great art beautifully reproduced here to make you happy. At least, I'm very happy to hold this stuff in my hands.

Also,
It is a GENERAL retrospective, not a complete retrospective or a complete book on Davis's work in any regard.

The book would have taken a huge amount of effort to put together. It is not always possible to find original art to reproduce from. The quality is pretty damn good on some of these reproductions.

Complaints :
I do wish many of the prints were printed larger [though there are plenty of great big ones in it!
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