Monster Kid Online Magazine #4


Monster Kid pays tribute to one of the icons of the world of comics, cartooning and illustration. His unique humorous style is instantly recognizable and has brought smiles to the faces of millions over the past five decades. Most famous for his masterful caricature work for Mad Magazine, TV Guide, Time Magazine and many others, Jack Davis will always have a sticky place in the heart of every horror fan. With his many memorable and hilarious interpretations of our favorite creepy characters he proved he was the master of mixing ghouls and giggles. Davis' wacky and witty work graced magazines, bubble gum cards, ads, record albums and posters which are now treasured collectors' items. And, according to the U. S. Congress, he was one of the artists whose delightfully gruesome work in the classic EC horror stories of the 1950's helped warp a generation with twisted tales of terror in comics like Tales From the Crypt.

We now present a ghoulish gallow-ry of some of Jack Davis' fiendish funnybone ticklers monster fans have loved for decades.

left: The famous 6 Foot Frankenstein poster. The picture appeared in Captain Company ads for years making it one of the most familiar images of the '60s and '70s to monster fans.


right: A self-portrait
of Jack Davis at
the drawing board


Jack Davis knew from a very young age exactly what he wanted to be. After finishing college, in 1950 he left his home town of Atlanta and moved to New York hoping to become a syndicated cartoonist. He found work as an inker on a couple of daily strips but had no luck selling a strip of his own. He began to look for work at various comic book publishers and soon he found himself part of EC comics' now-historic stable of trendsetting artists. Horror and crime comics were in vogue and Jack threw himself into the work drawing some of EC's most gruesome stories including the infamous FOUL PLAY in which a nasty baseball player meets a particularly grisly end. You might say he put his whole self into the game... one piece at a time. When EC launched their new irreverent humor comic MAD (later to become MAD MAGAZINE) Jack's cartooning skills really got a chance to shine.

Jack's semi-realistic style was perfect for MAD's satirical subjects and he quickly established himself as one of the top cartoonists and caricature artists in the business. Soon his work was in demand in other fields outside of comics such as album cover illustration.

Two Monstrous mirth-makers join forces. The Cool Ghoul plays the beat the Monsters march to in Jack Davis' cover art for this Zacherle LP.


Some of Jack Davis' most fondly remembered work among baby booming Monster Kids is his bubble gum card art. He churned out hundreds of hilarious, off-the-wall card scenes in the late 50's and early 60's. His most famous set is probably the You'll Die Laughing (aka Funny Monsters) cards produced by Topps in 1959. These vibrant full-color masterpieces featured many weird beings that sprang from Jack's fertile imagination as well as a few familiar faces from the movies like the scaly fellow on the left.
MK extra

Thanks to John Detrich for supplying the images shown. Click below to view the entire set of You'll Die Laughing cards. And visit John's own website Just Plain Weird Illustrations to see his how he is carrying on the great trading card art tradition.

You'll Die Laughing

© 1959 The Topps Co., Inc.


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