Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 14, 2006

Eldon Dedini, 1921-2006


Eldon Dedini, a cartoonist who thrived in not one but several of the great gag cartoon markets of the 20th Century, passed away at home in Carmel, California on Thursday from esophageal cancer. He was 84 years old.

imageAccording to the New York Times, Dedini published approximately 1200 cartoons for Playboy and 630 for the New Yorker. He worked for the New Yorker for several years starting in 1950 before adding Playboy as a client. Taking on both clients meant preparing a combined 50 preliminary cartoons every three weeks.

Beyond his signature watercolor work, he may be best known for his satyr cartoons in Playboy, a signature visual for the magazine as it blossomed into a media empire.

Other positions for Dedini in his long career included book illustration, a stint as an artist at Universal and then Disney, high-profile advertising and poster work, and a long run at Esquire starting in the 1940s. As Mark Evanier recalls, Dedini won multiple Reuben division awards.

Fantagraphics Books will publish An Orgy of Playboy's Dedini this Spring. A show featuring Dedini's work will close this Friday in Salinas. Here's a local obituary with some insight into his personality, and a selection of Dedini cartoons that comes up at the New Yorker store.

posted 8:04 am PST | Permalink

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