This past week I went down to Saint Simon's Island. A fellow alumni of Young Harris who lives in the Brunswick area had let me know about a retrospective being put on by the Glynn County Art Association. The artist: why, none other than St. Simon's resident Mr. Jack Davis! (Who, as you may recall...I am semi-obsessed with.)
Now unfortunately, my wife couldn't make it down on this trip. I was forced to doing my secretive "meal drawings" alone.
I thought he was praying over his little continental breakfast for what seemed like a REALLY long time...just head down and not moving. Then I noticed his phone behind the cup of juice.
Since the wife couldn't go, I had an extra ticket to the art opening and the accompanying panel discussion. But I knew another of my fellow YHC alumna lives just north of the island in Savannah. Robby was more than happy to take me up on the offer and Thursday night he headed down. If you want to read some good stuff, be sure to check out Robby's blog Ramblings From the Tide. He and his wife are both excellent writers.
Once Robby arrived, we headed over to the panel discussion. Mr. Davis and his family were in attendance as well as many locals who obviously thought the world of him.
The panel was moderated by Nick Meglin, who used to be a writer and editor of MAD magazine. Great stories and hugely entertaining, Mr. Meglin was actually interviewed with Robby beforehand by a local television station/internet pornographer/we're not really sure what they were. If we get our hands on the footage I will be sure to post it. It was really great.
The other two people on the panel were Mr. Jack Pittman, former president of the southeastern chapter of the National Cartoonists Society...
...and Mr. Tom Richmond, who is a current artist at MAD and is the new caricature hired gun now. He is also extremely wiggly...
...and so he ended up looking like Nicolas Cage in my sketchbook. (He does NOT look like Nicolas Cage.)
They all talked about Jack's influence and what he meant to each of them personally. At the end of the discussion, Mr. Pittman presented a beautifully bound art notebook filled with cartoons from many of today's comic artists expressing their appreciation for Jack Davis. The cover had an image of a self portrait that Jack had done, and they ran it through a 3-D printer to make a plaque for the cover. Very cool.
We walked back across the street to the Glynn County Art Association. I highly recommend if you have the chance to go see this exhibit. Jack Davis drawings are amazing in print. In person, they defy description. Just go. Thank me later.
Robby and I went up to Jack and his grand-daughter was kind of wrangling him and keeping the flow going. She asked me if I had something I wanted him to sign and I replied "no actually...I have a gift". I gave him a copy of one of my Bulldog calendars that I had written "thank you" on and signed. He smiled warmly and seemed genuinely excited as he looked at it. When everyone refers to him as a "true southern gentleman"...THAT is what they are talking about. I will carry the image of Jack Davis smiling at my drawing for a VERY long time.
At the end of the evening, Robby got an old Bulldog clipping he had signed and we got our picture made with the man himself. It was a wonderful evening.
...and it wasn't quite over yet. More on that tomorrow.