Horror History: Jack Davis

jackdavisJack Davis
Born Dec. 2nd, 1924 – Died Dec. 2nd, 2016

While Davis might not have worked hardly at all with the movie industry, he was an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist who’s work would inspire many horror fans and filmmakers for years to come. While he did do a lot of work for Mad Magazine, it was the art he did for the horror comics that William Gaines put out in the early ’50s that inspired future horror fans.

After being turned down by several other comic book companies, he went over to E.C. Comics, met up with owner William Gaines and company and was hired. He would work on their most famous titles, like Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, as well as the rest of the E.C. titles. His artwork was incredible and set the standards for a lot of upcoming talent. He was also one of the fastest artists, according to Gaines, completely penciling and inking 3 pages a day at times.

Davis did work on a few movie posters, most notably for horror fans was the one he did for Horror Hotel (1960), as well as designing some of the characters for Rankin/Bass’ Mad Monster Party? (1967). Davis was one of those artists who’s work inspired so many people, and not just fellow artists, but little budding horror fans that would devour his comics, even to this day.

Horror History: William Gaines

williammgainesWilliam Gaines
Born: March 1st, 1922  Died: June 3rd, 1992

Gaines created Mad Magazine in 1955 and published and oversaw until his death in 1992. Why am I mentioning this magazine on a horror website? Because before Mad Magazine, there was E.C. Comics, which published titles like Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror, Haunt of Fear, and a few more interesting titles. Gaines had taken over the company that his father started when he passed away in 1947. Gaines started to delved into more serious subject matters and into scary stories. Each issue featured murder, vampires, zombies, and other strange things. But there were messages in there and those that wrong people, always got what was coming to them. Even though he lost, the fight that Gaines gave is one that all supporters of free speech should be proud of. It ended with a ratings being developed with certain restrictions, such as not being able to use certain words in your comic titles… such as Horror, or Fear, or Terror, which pretty much put an end to Gaines horror comics. Continue reading