Deaths of Note

Published on July 28th, 2016 |


MAD, UGA illustrator Jack Davis, creator of Bucks on the Street statue, dies at 91

Georgia resident and illustrator Jack Davis, who designed the original sculpture model for the Buckhead Business Association’s Bucks on the Street program and was one of the founding editors of MAD Magazine, has died at the age of 91.

Jack Davis

Jack Davis

Although there will be no more fresh Davis artwork produced, his original artwork for the Bucks on the Street statues—which were decorated and placed strategically around Buckhead—will remain an example of the whimsical creative artistic talent of one of the first Buckhead Boys and the illustrator who created the Alfred E. Neuman character for MAD magazine.

Former Atlanta Mayor and Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell told BuckheadView, “Jack Davis was in my life at almost every juncture.  Of course as an alumnus of the University of Georgia, later during my affiliation with The Buckhead Boys, and most recently his contribution designing the Buckhead Bucks on the Street Community Mascot,” Massell explained. (Massell is pictured above with the Buck on the Street that was purchased by the Buckhead Coalition and the Coalition board.)

“Oh, and I left out his doing a political cartoon back in the ‘50s for The Atlanta Democrat paper my father published as a hobby, ” Massell added. “I will indeed miss this friend.”

Born in Atlanta in 1924, Davis studied at UGA and later illustrated for Mad Magazine. “Jack was one of the founding members of MAD Magazine’s ‘Usual Gang of Idiots.’ An enormously gifted and versatile artist, Davis’ work appeared in the very first issue of MAD and virtually every issue over the next four decades,” Mad Magazine said in a July 27 statement.

“There is not a humorous illustrator in the past 50 years who hasn’t been influenced by him,” said MAD art director Sam Viviano in a statement.

BBA Bucks on the Street program leaders Donna Kane and Elizabeth Gill with the statue Davis designed.

BBA Bucks on the Street program leaders Donna Kane and Elizabeth Gill with the statue Davis designed.

Davis later joined UGA, where he “endeared himself to Georgia Bulldog fans over decades with his famous caricatures of a bulldog usually pummeling opposing team

mascots and/or celebrating after UGA victories.”

“Jack Davis was a gifted illustrator and a legendary Bulldog,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead in a July 27 statement. “His artwork has left a lasting legacy for Georgia athletics, and he will be deeply missed.”

Davis’ final cover for MAD depicted shock jock Howard Stern being plunged into a toilet bowl by the magazine’s renowned character Alfred E. Neuman, and remains a MAD classic.

Davis’ funeral is scheduled for Friday at St. Simons Island.

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