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 FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Eldon Dedini (California) continues to create cartoons for Playboy.