An Orgy of Playboy's Eldon Dedini

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9781560977278: An Orgy of Playboy's Eldon Dedini

Collecting a half-century of cartoons from Playboy's most venerable contributor.

For over 45 years, Eldon Dedini has been one of Playboy's most recognizable full-page gag cartoonists. With a masterful watercolor technique that burlesques a broad range of subjects―from East and West Coast urban and suburban adult-hipster to classical Japanese erotic prints―Dedini's most personal cartoons rely on mythology and legend, evoking a bucolic sexually liberated paradise that leaves its reader lingering over the imagery long after the gag registers.

A lifelong Californian, Dedini cut his graphic teeth in his early twenties as an editorial cartoonist for the Salinas Morning Post. He studied drawing and painting for two years at L.A.'s Chouinard Institute until 1944, when Walt Disney Studios hired him as a story sketch artist. Refusing to end up as just another anonymous Disney drone, Dedini worked nights and weekends to develop his own style and sold dozens of cartoons to Esquire, which in 1946 offered him a four-year contract at twice his Disney salary. In 1950 Dedini moved to The New Yorker―where he is still a contributor―and finally to Playboy in 1959.

An Orgy of Playboy's Eldon Dedini is the first retrospective collection of his work and gathers in one volume the most sophisticated, elegant―and funny―gag panels of the past six decades. Color and black-and-white cartoons throughout

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About the Author:

Eldon Dedini worked for several years for Walt Disney on Donald Duck shorts before he began selling cartoons to Esquire. He began working for Playboy in 1959 and became one of their most popular and longest-running cartoonists. He has received the National Cartoonists Society Award for gag cartooning four times. When he passed away in January 2006, he was still regularily contributing cartoons to Playboy and The New Yorker.

From Booklist:

Seen today, Playboy's cartoons of the 1960s and 1970s are nearly as evocative of the magazine's heyday as risque advice columns, guides to bachelor living, and photos of airbrushed bimbos. In the foremost cadre of Playboy cartoonists was Eldon Dedini, known for the satyrs, nymphs, and Rubensian women who populated his work, along with lecherous businessmen, gold diggers, and free-love-practicing libertines. Amid his talented peers, Dedini was distinguished by his lush watercolor technique and his artistic literacy--many of his drawings riffed on Japanese ukiyo-e prints. Visually stylish though the cartoons are, their humor is undeniably sexist, dated, and repetitious. It's fascinating to see the variations Dedini wrings out of a handful of motifs, especially since the 200 or so in this lavish volume are only a fraction of the 1,200 he published between 1959 and 2005. The collection harks back to an era when cartoons were an integral part of America's magazines, not just the famous feature of a few, such as the New Yorker and . . . Playboy. Gordon Flagg
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