Saturday, January 14, 2006

Legendary New Yorker/Playboy Cartoonist Eldon Dedini Dead At 84. UPDATE! LA Times Obit Of Dedini!

(Oops! Sorry. No obit of Dedini in today's LA Times! So we return you to our regularly scheduled New York Times coverage of all things Los Angeles....)

Any male who came of age in the 1960's will have fond memories of Dedini's nymph and satyr Playboy cartoons and many will likely remember when they first realized he was also doing cartoons for the New Yorker.

What I did not know was that he was essentially a local boy born and raised in California and that he was schooled and worked in Los Angeles for many years:

Eldon Dedini, 84, Magazine Gag Cartoonist, Dies

Eldon Dedini, a cartoonist who concocted a mythical world of satyrs and nymphs for Playboy and another of quirky, sophisticated wit for The New Yorker, died Thursday at his home in Carmel, Calif. He was 84....

....Mr. Dedini did around 1,200 cartoons for Playboy and 630 for The New Yorker in a career that also included Disney cartoons...

.....Mr. Dedini's Playboy cartoons helped establish the magazine's image in the 1960's, from takeoffs on classic Japanese erotica to urban hipsters. His sexually brash satyrs in joyful pursuit of astoundingly proportioned, equally lusty nymphs became as much a Playboy trademark as lascivious advice columns.

Eldon Lawrence Dedini was born in King City, Calif., on June 29, 1921. His son said that at 5 he drew a strikingly realistic picture of a train from memory. He did cartoons for two local newspapers without pay to gain experience.

While at Salinas Junior College, now Hartnell College, he sold his first cartoon to Esquire. He graduated from the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, where he meet Virginia Conroy, whom he married in 1944.

Eldon Dedini's first job was as an artist at Universal Studios. He moved to Disney, where he worked with writers on films that included "Mickey and the Beanstalk."

He joined Esquire in 1946 and stayed with the magazine until 1950, when he moved to The New Yorker. He added Playboy to the New Yorker job in 1960...

....His distinctively wry approach was suggested in one of his hundreds of New Yorker cartoons: two mice are conversing as they enter a crowded room. "Oh, Lord, not another wine-and-cheese party," one groans.

Hopefully he left behind a cartoon of himself entering the pearly gates... in full pursuit of a angel winged full bodied nymph.

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