Cartoonist Jack Davis Passes

Jack Davis, the prolific Mad magazine illustrator, cartoonist and movie poster artist, has died aged 91.

As a struggling artist in New York in 1950, Davis scored with E.C. Comics, which published a line of horror titles including Tales from the Crypt.

He remained with its editors – William M. Gaines, Albert B. Feldstein and Harvey Kurtzman – when they launched Mad in 1952. He contributed to the magazine for the next six decades, including countless portraits of its perpetually grinning mascot Alfred E. Neuman.

Along the way, Davis created numerous covers for TV Guide and Time, and posters for films including American Graffiti and Woody Allen’s Bananas.

Interestingly he only retired last year!

The reason? He just can’t meet his own standards. “I’m not satisfied with the work,” Davis said. “I can still draw, but I just can’t draw like I used to.”

Davis has probably spent more time in America’s living rooms than anyone.Mad was a million-seller when Davis was on the mag, and when he was doingTV Guide covers in the 1970s, the publication boasted a circulation of over 20 million. Yet, Davis was largely unaware of his massive cultural significance. “I never really thought about that, but I guess I’m very blessed, I’ve been very lucky.”

But his luck paled in comparison to his skill. Davis started his career in 1936, when he was only 12; he won $1 as part of a national art contest and saw his work published in Tip Top Comics #9. While still a teen, his cartoons were published in The Yellow Jacket, a humor magazine at Georgia Tech University, where his uncle was a professor. After a stint in the military, Davis caught on with EC Comics in 1950, where he was part of the artistic wave that revolutionized comics with titles like Tales from the CryptTwo-Fisted Tales, and Mad.

Whereas Norman Rockwell’s images represented Americana of the 1940s and ’50s with his Boy Scouts and pigtailed girls, Davis’ work epitomized the ’60s and ’70s—the smirking, sardonic face of the emerging counterculture. By the time the Beats and the Hippies (who came of age reading Davis cartoons) took over, he was doing movie posters for Woody Allen’s BananasThe Long GoodbyeAmerican Graffiti, and others.

“Jack Davis is probably the most versatile artist ever to work the worlds of comic books, illustration, or movie poster art,” Scott Dunbier, a former art dealer and current director of special projects at comic book publisher IDW. “He can work in a humorous style or deadly serious style, historical or modern, anything. His work transcends that of almost any other cartoonist.”

IDW recently published Jack Davis’ EC Stories Artist’s Edition, reprinting some of Davis’ classic stories taken from the original art. Other pieces from the archives may emerge, but at 90 Davis was done producing new work. “I’m just gonna sit on the porch and watch the river go by,” Davis says. “And maybe go fishing once in a while.”

Cocktail Nation Les Baxter Special


A Cocktail Nation midweek special this week as I have a long chat with James Spencer and play some of the big songs of Les Baxter’s career as programmed by Mr Spencer himself!

LES BAXTER is the first published biography to examine a detailed history of composer and musician Leslie Thompson Baxter. One of Capitol Record’s most prominent artists, Les had 35 hits and 11 album hits in a career that expanded nearly fifty years. Les is one of America’s most influential, innovative and unique composers of of the 20th century. He is the father of Exotica, Space-Age Bachelor Music, and his experimental and innovative film scores set the standards for the genres of horror, sci-fi, westerns, and teen-age beach movies. The biography was researched over twenty years and includes rare interviews by Skip Heller, a protege who studied and was companion to Les during the last few years of his life. James Spencer, musicologist, concert pianist and recording artist became friends with Les Baxter in 1991 and documents the last five years of Les’ life until his death in January of 1996.

To buy the book click here

  1. 1. “Quiet Village” [The Ritual of the Savage (1951)
  2. 2. “Oasis of Dahkla [Tamboo! (1956)
  3. 3. “The Enchanted Sea” [Jewels of the Sea (1961) 
  4. 4. “Moon Moods” [Music Out of the Moon (1948)] with Harry Revel
  5. 5. “Dream Rhapsody” [Midnight On the Cliffs (1957] 
  6. 6. “Nightmare Sequence” [The Fall of the House of Usher (1960)]  
  7. 7. “Speak Low” [Thinking of You (1954)]  
  8. 8. “Joy” [ The Passions with Bas Sheva (1954)]  
  9. 9. “Les Levres” from La Femme (Franck Pourcel and his French Strings)1956
  10. 10. “Adios”  from Caribbean Moonlight 1956 

The Mystery Of DB Cooper

One of America’s most baffling crimes — that of hijacker “DB Cooper” who jumped out of a plane with a parachute and ransom money 45 years ago — looks set to remain an enigma.

The FBI said after one of the longest and most exhaustive probes in its history, it will no longer actively investigate the case of the man who called himself Dan Cooper and became known as “DB Cooper”.

It said after looking at all credible leads, enough is enough — resources spent on the Cooper case will be redirected to “focus on other investigative priorities”.

On November 24, 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper had approached a Northwest Orient Airlines counter in Portland, Oregon and used cash to buy a one-way ticket on flight 305 to Seattle, Washington.
Cooper was wearing a business suit with a white shirt and black tie and appeared to be a quiet man in his mid-40s, the FBI said on its website.

While waiting for the Boeing 727 flight to take off, he ordered a bourbon and soda.

During the flight, he gave a flight attendant a note indicating he had a bomb in his briefcase and wanted her to sit with him, and she obeyed.Opening his attache case, Cooper gave the flight attendant a glimpse of wires and red-coloured sticks inside, the FBI said.

He asked her to write a note and take it to the plane’s captain, demanding four parachutes and $US200,000 in $US20 notes.
When the plane landed safely in Seattle, he exchanged the flight’s 36 passengers for the ransom money and parachutes, but kept several crew members on board.
He then ordered the plane to fly to Mexico City.
But somewhere between Seattle and Reno, just after 8:00pm (local time), he jumped from the back of the plane with a parachute and the money, falling through the freezing night air.
He left his black tie behind.

The plane landed safely, but no sign of Cooper was ever found again.

The FBI said they tracked leads, and by the five-year anniversary of the hijacking, more than 800 suspects had been considered.

One person from the list, Richard Floyd McCoy, remains a favourite among many, the FBI said.

“We tracked down and arrested McCoy for a similar airplane hijacking and escape by parachute less than five months after Cooper’s flight,” the FBI said on its website.

“But McCoy was later ruled out because he didn’t match the nearly identical descriptions of Cooper provided by two flight attendants and for other reasons.”

The FBI said it was possible Cooper did not survive the jump.

“After all, the parachute he used couldn’t be steered, his clothing and footwear were unsuitable for a rough landing and he had jumped into a wooded area at night,” it said.

Bundles of crumbling $US20 notes from the ransom money were unearthed by a small boy on a sandbar in the Columbia River in 1980, giving a boost to the theory he had died.

Evidence that will be preserved for historical purposes at FBI headquarters in Washington include that money, the man’s black tie and a parachute, the New York Daily News reported.

Cocktail Nation 414 Classic Comedy Vaughn Meader


This week we have classic comedy from a JFK impersonator from the sixties called Vaughn Meader pluswe talk about one of the greatest unsolved crimes of the 20th century

The Sharps-Caravan

Narco Lounge Combo-Miserlou

Henry Mancini -It Had Better Be Tonight

Les Baxter-Barquita

Les Baxter -Because Of You

Tiki Joes Ocean-Belles Of Bombay

Jeff Denson Quartet-The Circle

Martin Denny -Quiet Villagey

Codename Carter- The Heist

Si Zentner- From Russia With Love

Kaylene Peoples-How Insensitive

Stolen Idols-Kyoto Protocol

Warren Barker-Deep Night

HB Radki-Martinis and Pearls



Cocktail Nation Twilight Show-Shag Swings By

On the show this week we talk to Tony Marscio from the Martini Kings about the stack of releases from the guys recently some great music to add to your collection, Last friday night I caught up with Shag at the Outre Gallery here in Sydney and I’ll play back that chat for you as we check out his inscrutable mystery guide, our segments ask Koop and the blogosphere back this week


Vibes On Velvet-Jorges Basement

Cal Tjader-The Way You Look Tonight

Martini Kings-Lost In Paradise

Julie London- The End of a Love Affair

Waitiki7 -Ruby Janet Seidel- Straight To Baby

Moe Koffman- Swinging Shepard Blues

Acutal Rafiq-One way ticket to Thrillville

Frank Sinatra- The Best is Yet To Come

Alvino Rey-A Swingin Fling

Les Baxter- Saturday Night on Saturn

Chet Baker- The Touch of Your Lips

Frank Bennett -Everything Counts

Tiki Joes Ocean-Sand Bar


Cocktail Nation Evenings At The Penthouse-Love Letters

Tonight perched upon high in the penthouse as we watch the trail of red stop lights from the cars as they move across the  city of Sydney.

Join Koop Kooper for this special mid week edition of the Cocktail Nation as the Lounge Leader spins Cocktail Jazz from the Sydney Penthouse. So kick back and grab a martini and take in the view from the Penthouse with a good dose of Cocktail Jazz !

Oscar Peterson Lester Young Almost Like Being In Love

Lionel Hampton Tenderly

Astrud Gilberto Dindi

Stan Getz A Handful Of Stars

Sarah Vaughan Its Crazy

Dinah Washington I get a Kick


Cocktail Nation Evenings At The Penthouse-Dancing Champagne Bubbles

Tonight perched upon high in the penthouse as we watch the Dazzling and  hypnotic dance of champagne bubbles

Join Koop Kooper for this special mid week edition of the Cocktail Nation as the Lounge Leader spins Cocktail Jazz from the Sydney Penthouse. So kick back and grab a martini and take in the view from the Penthouse with a good dose of Cocktail Jazz !

Bobby Darin -Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

Dean Martin-My Heart Reminds Me

Paul Desmond-Easy Living

Zoot Sims-How Deep Is the Ocean

Bobby Troup-The Feeling Of Jazz

George Shearing-Isn’t It Romantic

Martial Solal-Round Midnight

George Dunning-That Cat Again

Jackie Gleason-Melancholy Serenade

Hank Garland-Rainy Afternoon

James Spencer-Southern Stars

Tony Bennett-The Last Time I Saw ParisScreen Shot 2016-07-20 at 1.42.01 PM