You probably have never heard of Jack Davis. He was one of the great commercial illustrators of this century (and last). He died earlier this week at the age of 91.
He was one of the artists whose work you have undoubtedly seen on classic movie posters, though. I first came to know him from his work on Mad Magazine. This is probably where many of you parents out there may recognize his work as well. I would read Mad when I was a friends' houses for sleepovers and stuff.
When I was in seventh grade, I had a neighbor move in across the street with his cousins while his dad fought with cancer. He was a big-time Mad reader and he got me into reading comic books, actually. All too soon, his father passed away and he moved back to Pennsylvania, but a part of him stuck with me.
I have been a big fan of Jack Davis for a long time. He's one of those artists whose work I knew by how it looked long before I knew what his name was. Just google him to see more. He is maybe best-known for his movie poster for It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
It honestly wasn't until I became a comic book reader and started to recognize certain styles and match them with names (Norm Breyfogle, Mike Mignola, Walt Simonson, Bart Sears) that I went back and started to look back at the names of those Mad artists. It didn't take long before I started to learn names like Mort Drucker, Antonio Prohias, Sergio Aragones, and, yes, Jack Davis.
From movie posters to album covers to advertisements to everything...he was definitely one of the great illustrators whose name you normally don't hear along with Norman Rockwell...but in a just world, you would.