Jack Davis, the legendary UGA cartoonist/artist who passed away last week, may be best known nationally for his work with Mad Magazine, but his career also included a stint with Playboy.
Shortly after MAD’s new format as a magazine, Kurztman was contacted by Playboy’s own Hugh Hefner, and the two discussed working together. After Gaines had refused to turn over his half of the company he’d inherited from his father to Kurtzman, Kurtzman not only walked from MAD, but left with some of their top talents as well. Jack Davis’s loyalties rested with Kurtzman, so he left MAD with a half a dozen other artists to work on the project Kurztman had been hatching with Hefner. In 1957, the first issue of Trump hit the stands. Despite strong sales, it was cancelled by the second issue. Davis stood by Kurtzman’s other ill-fated but solid humor publications, Humbug and Help, and while he was still in a contract with Hefner, contributed to backgrounds and other art duties for Kurtzman and Will Elder’s “Little Annie Fanny” comic for Playboy, as well as full-color single page gag cartoons for the magazine. After kids at school had told Jack’s children that their father worked for a “dirty magazine,” Jack related the story back to Hefner, who sympathized and released him from his contract in the mid 60’s.
Read Playboy’s tribute to Davis here. Everyone visits Playboy for the articles, right?