Found in the Collection: Eldon Dedini, Part Three!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELDON DEDINI!

Born June 29th, 1921, Eldon Dedini would have been 91 years old today. We are proud to have celebrated his birthday all month on the blog, as our fabulous MLIS practicum student, Caitlin Naber, has worked hard to process his collection. To catch up on some of the glorious finds so far, you can read the other Dedini posts here and here.

For this final Dedini dedication, we thought we would go all out in showing just how personal and expansive an artist’s collection can be. In this post, we’re highlighting some of our favorite pieces from his career, and a few of the actual objects that are contained in the Dedini files- some of which are obviously things that don’t directly correlate to Dedini’s cartooning, but breathe life into the folders and boxes that provide us with the structure of who he was.

For example, we can only assume that we have Dedini’s mother to thank for the items shown in the photo below. Pictured are bits and pieces from Eldon’s infancy to his high school years- just a small representation of the incredibly thorough amount of documentation that was saved throughout his life. Included are Dedini’s adorably pink infancy bonnet (made by a family friend in 1920, as the tag reads), one of his leather… baby…gloves, nearly all of his report cards (and he was apparently quite the star student- though we wonder if only the good ones were saved!), two school pamphlets from 1935 for which Dedini did the illustrations, and a tiny book of photos featuring the rather dashing young man himself.

Personal items from Dedini’s youth. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Below, Dedini’s class photos from Elementary school and High School (with our added detail of him close-up):

Eldon Dedini Elementary School class photo. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

 

Eldon Dedini’s High School class photo. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

One of the very important parts of Eldon’s early career was his time spent working as a staff cartoonist for Disney beginning in 1944, primarily on The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (an adaptation of Wind in the Willows), Mickey and the Beanstalk, and Fun and Fancy Free.

The folders upon folders of Eldon’s collection that contain his work for Disney, full of gorgeous pastels, are absolutely stunning. Some of the most enchanting pieces to look at in particular are his background renderings (featured below). We’ll leave the character sketches out of this for obvious copyright complications, but you can fill in the soul of the landscapes yourself, as we do for Dedini as a whole by piecing together his life through his collection. We hope you’ll spare any judgment of our whimsy-but for a researcher or archivist-sorting through the life-spanning personal pieces of someone’s collection with them no longer alive does feel a bit like peeking into these character-less scenes.

Eldon Dedini background illustration for Disney. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Eldon Dedini background illustration for Disney. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Eldon Dedini background illustration for Disney. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Included in these folders also are Dedini’s identification cards, and an illustrated chapbook guide to the ins-and-outs of working for Disney:

Eldon Dedini’s Walt Disney Productions employee ID card and Screen Cartoonists union ID card. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

“The Ropes At Disney” employee handbook. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Although Eldon’s most significant work was seen in Esquire and The New Yorker–and his biting humor was what we remember the most–believe it or not there was a time when he tried his hand at political cartooning. Below, a sample of one of the many political Dedini cartoons we have found in his collection, as well as a rejection letter from Esquire explaining lightly that the readers of Esquire do not want to hear about the big issues- they are simply here to entertain.

One of Dedini’s rejected political cartoons for “Esquire”. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Rejection letter to Eldon Dedini from “Esquire”. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

We hope that on this fine day of Dedini’s birth, and throughout the past month, your Dedini crave has been satiated- or better yet, that we’ve wet your appetite to access our collection and find out even more about Eldon. We’re thrilled to have the paper trail of his life with us here at the Cartoon Library, and are so grateful to have our enthusiastic practicum student here to process it- and to share her fabulous finds with me.

The Caitlins (McGurk and Naber) blush over a full-color Dedini “Playboy” original. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

 

Found in the Collection: Mighty Mouse, distraught!

We have decided to post this original from Mighty Mouse today for two reasons.

One: Is there anything more disconcerting than a tearful, sweaty Mighty Mouse? We could hardly resist hugging the actual original art for this page upon finding it in the collection, though we know it would be bad for the paper.

Original art from "Mighty Mouse", unknown artist. From the Mark J. Cohen and Rose Marie McDaniel Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Two: We have very little  information on it. For those of you who did not catch this, we were extremely inspired by our readers a few weeks back when we posted a hilarious page we called The Tall Circus on the blog that we couldn’t find a source for, and the information was revealed in the comments section by the artist himself! After that great experience, we thought we would start occasionally featuring work like this to ask for your help. In the world of comics, the fans are often the scholars.  No one is getting a Ph.D in Comics Studies (yet), and it is empowering to work with a medium where the experts are members of the comics-reading-and-making community, who are some of the most friendly and enthusiastic people you could meet.  We are very proud to be a part of that community.

We know that this is a page from the Mighty Mouse series published by St. John Publishing, Co. We even know that it is page 13 from  issue number 25! But who is the artist that captured such fret in dear Mighty Mouse’s face? If you recognize this heart-wrenching page from an old issue of a Mighty Mouse comic, we would love your help.

Free Event Reminder- Artist’s Talk with Aidan Koch

Tomorrow evening in the Wexner Film and Video Theater, we are thrilled to be having a unique event with Portland-based cartoonist and illustrator Aidan Koch (Secret Prison, The Whale) in conversation with Skylab curator James Payne, and visiting curator Caitlin McGurk of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Aidan will be discussing her work and the interrelation and incongruence of working in the worlds of comics and fine art.

Aidan’s style and approach to illustrative comics is progressive and fascinating, and she is the first (and youngest!) self-publisher to join us on stage at The Wexner Center in a casual exploration of comics communities, story telling processes, and more. To see some of her work, check out her continuing series The Blonde Woman hosted on Study Group Comics.

Koch is in residence at Skylab Gallery during the month of June, and this event marks the first collaboration between the downtown art space and OSU.

For more information about this event visit: http://www.wexarts.org/ed/index.php?eventid=6265

To join the Facebook event page visit: http://www.facebook.com/events/374449429283095/

This event is cosponsored by The Wexner Center for the Arts.

Hope to see you tomorrow night!

Found in the Collection: Eldon Dedini, continued!

To catch up on what is going on with our Eldon Dedini collection, read our first blog entry on the topic from last week. June is Dedini’s birthday month, so we’re excited to be featuring his work on the blog as the collection is processed by our MLIS practicum student.

First, a doodle draft with a note attached from Hefner himself!

Handwritten note from Hugh Hefner, stapled to a Eldon Dedini doodle for "Playboy". from the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Now, as many of you know, Dedini’s most celebrated work was done for a not-so-kid-friendly magazine called Playboy. It’s as hilarious as it is dirty–and believe us–we really want to post some of them. Really, we do. Alas, need we remind you academic and scholarly blog readers out there that comics aren’t just for adults (ha ha), and we are dedicated to maintaining an audience wide enough to include your grandmother and your tween. As a result, and only in order to protect the innocent, we are forced to keep the more scandalous Dedini cartoons within our wide-eyed huddle of librarians and workers, and promise to maintain our giggles at a whispering level.

However, you could always come visit us at the Cartoon Library and check them out for yourself!

Until then, stretch your innuendo muscles, save your vapors, and enjoy a sampling of the less-flustering doodles of Dedini’s work for Playboy and beyond.

"Madonna and Child", original doodle by Eldon Dedini. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, the Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

"Moo." original doodle by Eldon Dedini. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, the Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

"I Come Up Here When I Feel Cocky and Pompous" original doodle by Eldon Dedini. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

"Don't You Just Love This Rise In The Need of Personal Demons?" original doodle by Eldon Dedini. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

"Could I Call You Back? I'm Having Dinner With the Other Woman" original doodle by Eldon Dedini. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

And finally, with a nod to Mr. George Herriman

"I Found Him Wandering In The Desert- Muttering About Globalization" original doodle by Eldon Dedini. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Cartoon Library & Museum

Happy Summer! Found in the Collection: John Milton Morris

Happy First Day of Summer tomorrow, everybody! At the Cartoon Library we’re kicking it off with two John Milton Morris cartoons from the 1960s. Morris was best known for his illustrations and political cartoons for the Associated Press, and was a favorite of Lyndon B. Johnson.

Enjoy!

John Milton Morris' "America's Summer: 5 O'clock at the Motel". From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

John Milton Morris' "America's Summer: The Country Club". From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

 

Found in the Collection: Eldon Dedini Doodles

In December of 2005, the late great Eldon Dedini donated his original art and personal papers to us here at the Cartoon Library. Known for his voluptuous and fantastical Playboy cartoons and his contributions to Esquire and The New Yorker, Dedini’s collection contained not only 1,500 original cartoons, but also correspondence, business papers, idea files, rough sketches and more.

As our steadfast and enthusiastic MLIS practicum student (yes, we take MLIS practicum students!) Caitlin Naber from The University of Illinois processes Dedini’s collection, she continuously uncovers jam-packed folders of fascinating gems! The “oohs” and “ahhs” from her corner of the archive seldom cease. One of the great blessings of working on a collection like Dedini’s is that he was incredibly meticulous and organized about keeping his collection comprehensive.

MLIS Candidate and practicum student Caitlin Naber and the Dedini files

In one of the 13 folders of Dedini’s eloquently titled “Doodles” in his collection, there are a great number of fantastic quick sketches of famous folks. It’s quite a random selection, but we wanted to share some of our favorites.

Eldon Dedini's George Herriman. The Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Eldon Dedini's J.D. Salinger. The Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Eldon Dedini sketch of Edie Sedgwick at Andy Warhol's Factory. The Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Eldon Dedini's Anais Ninn. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Eldon Dedini's Honoré Daumier. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

 

Eldon Dedini's Diego Rivera. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

 

 

Eldon Dedini's Wassily Kandinsky. From the Eldon Dedini Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps, dear reader, you are curious about what processing a collection such as Dedini’s entails.

While we would love to appease the envy of those who may think that archiving the collection of a cartoonist just means reading comics all day, rest assured there is indeed a science to the sorting. In order to make the Dedini collection accessible and easy to navigate for researches, scholars, students, and the general public- we will be making an online finding aid for the collection. When the Dedini collection arrived here at the Cartoon Library, it was comprised of 103 boxes of materials, containing everything from Chinese restaurant menus, to rejection letters, to oil paintings, to the original character sketches of Mr. Toad for Disney’s The Wind in the Willows. When we receive a collection as broad as Dedini’s, an initial organizational plan of attack must be made on how to categorize the materials in a way that makes sense of their career, and will be most understandable to a researcher. This requires going through all of the boxes, and all of the folders and sub-folders within those boxes, and sorting out materials into their appropriate series.

The categories that have been designated for the Dedini collection are as follows:

Series I. Playboy (Subseries 1. Correspondance, Subseries 2. Sketches and Roughs)

Series II. The New Yorker (Subseries 1. Correspondance, Subseries 2. Sketches and Roughs)

Series III. Esquire (Subseries 1. Correspondance, Subseries 2. Sketches and Roughs)

Series IV. Advertising Illustrations

Series V. Book Illustrations

Series VI. Freelance Works

Series VII. Sketches, Drawings, and Scrapbooks

Series VIII. Original Art

Series IX. Research Files (Reference Pictures, Picture Files- Organized alphabetically by topic)

Series X. Cartoonist/Professional Organizations

Series XI. Correspondence (fan and personal, organized by year)

Series XII. Personal and Family materials (photographs, genealogy info, wedding anniversary)

Series XIII. Memorabilia

We hope that this not only gives our readers some insight on how materials are processed, but for the cartoonists reading out there with a flare for organization (and perhaps a desire to donate their collection to a certain cartoon library and museum someday), we hope we can help provide a framework for thinking about your own paper trail. And remember: save everything!

As our trusty practicum student continues to sort through Eldon Dedini’s collection, we’ll certainly be posting more of his materials as they are processed. June happens to be Dedini’s birth-month, so what better time for it!

Found in the Collection: The Stamp Wholesaler

The  International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, which resides here at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum and contains approximately 200,000 pieces of original cartoon art, consistently proves to be full of strange surprises for our dedicated workers who have been processing it.

One of those odd finds is the Stamp Wholesaler cartoon collection, a group of 1,003 humorous cartoons pertaining to stamp collecting which were published in the Stamp Wholesaler magazine. The magazine, published by Lucius Jackson until the late ’70s, was (from what we can gather) much beloved in the philatelic community and ran articles on stamp collecting, as well as cartoons, among their ads for dealers. Contributing cartoonists included Bill Bobb, Joseph Serrano, Bert Gore, John Dunnett, Roy O. Carling, John Dawson, Cairo Sturgill, Lowell E. Hoppes, Bill Newcombe, Brad Anderson, C. K. Weil, Joe Bresch, Jim M’Guinness, Tony Saltzman, George L. Stewart, Bob Rieker, Doug Baker, and H.B. Harn.

Below, three of our favorite cartoons from the collection- done by cartoonist Jim M’Guinness to incorporate the collectable stamps themselves into the gag.

Jim M'Guinness original art for "Stamp Wholesaler" magazine. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art collection, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Jim M'Guinness original art for "Stamp Wholesaler" magazine. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art collection, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Jim M'Guinness original art for "Stamp Wholesaler" magazine. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art collection, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

[Special thanks to Ann Lennon for help with this post.]

RIP: Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012)

Here at the Cartoon Library, we are deeply saddened by the loss of the all-time master of science fiction, Ray Bradbury. Bradbury was an inspiration for all, and a true friend to cartoonists and lover of the form. His work has been adapted by some of the greatest cartoonists world-over, and in his memory we have provided below a sampling of some of the varying styles that gave vision to his writing.

Issues 1 and 2 of the Topps Comics series "Ray Bradbury Comics". From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

First, an excerpt from Bradbury’s introduction to The Ray Bradbury Chronicles Vol.1, a collection of comic adaptations of his writing that were originally published as Ray Bradbury Comics by Topps Comics (image above).

For comic strips, comic books and the creators of comics have filled my life since I was nine years old and “Buck Rogers” exploded before my eyes in the “Waukegan News Sun”. I knew then that I was staring at something that would change my life forever. That one strip, on an October afternoon in 1929, seized me into the future and would not let me return. I learned my first lesson in aesthetic that autumn. I collected Buck Rogers for three months and then when kids in school made fun of me for believing in the future, I tore them up. A week later, I burst into tears. Why am I crying? I asked myself. Who died? The answer was: me. I had listened to those fools who didn’t believe that one day we would arrive on the Moon or visit Mars. I made my most important decision then. I went back to collecting “Buck Rogers”. In all the years since I have not once listened to any so-called friend who made fun of my hobby, my dream, my lifeblood.

Harvey Kurtzman and Matt Wagner's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "It Burns Me Up!" The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Wally Wood's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "Home To Stay". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Guy Davis' adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Michael Mignola's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "The City". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Richard Corben's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Jack Davis adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "The Black Ferris". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Dave Gibbon's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "Come Into My Cellar". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Al Williamson adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "I, Rocket". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

 

 

P. Craig Russell adaptation of Ray Bradbury's "The Golden Apples Of The Sun". The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Ray Bradbury:

"Buck Rogers" tearsheet from April 18th, 1937, art by Rick Yager. From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

 

Found in the Collection: E.G. Lutz (1868-?)

Although you’ve probably never heard of him- cartoonist, animator and author E. G. Lutz is the reason that 19 year old Walt Disney took an interest in pursuing animation. Lutz’s book Animated Cartoons: How They Are Made, Their Origin and Development, is credited time and again for being the book that Disney read that got him to think about starting up a business. However, little to nothing is known about E.G. (Edwin George) Lutz, though the impact of his writing and ideas is obviously tremendous.

Animated Cartoons: How They Are Made, Their Origin and Development, by E.G. Lutz. From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

One thing we do know for sure about Lutz (and as always, we encourage our readers to contribute their own knowledge!) is that he was also a brilliant newspaper cartoonist, with some of his most interesting work appearing in the gorgeously illustrated Book of Magic, which was the special children’s section of the Seattle Post Intelligencer (where Nell Brinkley’s work frequently appeared as well.) This newspaper supplement featured full-color activities for kids, most commonly illustrated mazes and connect-the-dots featuring some of the favorite newspaper cartoon characters of the time (Happy Hooligan and Ignatz appear often).

E.G. Lutz’s pages typically centered around three basic themes- playing with food, anthropomorphized animals, and early optical toys. As with many of the items in our San Francisco Academy of Comic Art collection here at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum that we thank Bill Blackbeard for everyday, these old Book of Magic sections were inherently dispensable enough in their time just by being newsprint, but doubly so because most of the activities in them required cutting up the paper. Particularly those of E.G. Lutz’s, which we are thrilled to have beautiful in-tact copies of here in our collection.

Below are two samples of Lutz’s optical toys- complete with instructions, and a bolded WARNING! that reads “Do not paint or cut out pages until you have looked over the whole book. There may be something on the other side of a page that you will like better.” Which, I would argue is doubtful, as even grown-up librarians like myself find it hard to resist wondering what the illusion would look like in action.

E.G. Lutz newsprint optical toy illustration from The Seattle Intelligencer's Book of Magic, June 4, 1922. From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

A phenakistoscope:

E.G. Lutz newsprint optical toy illustration from The Seattle Intelligencer's Book of Magic, February 12, 1922. From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

E.G. Lutz newsprint optical toy illustration from The Seattle Intelligencer's Book of Magic, April 23, 1922. From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Below, creative inspiration for food-play, should you be able to find that perfect yam at the market that resembles a baby seal. We are sure that Seattle parents were thrilled with their children’s sudden interest in fruit, but possibly not at the inclusion of orange peels in home decor.

E.G. Lutz newsprint cut-out toy illustration from The Seattle Intelligencer's Book of Magic, May 28th, 1922. From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

E.G. Lutz newsprint cut-out toy illustration from The Seattle Intelligencer's Book of Magic, April 9, 1922. From The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Lutz’s cartoons, typically anthropomorphic cartoons,  appeared in other papers as well, including the New York Herald and Philadelphia Press. We are lucky enough to have one piece of original art in our collection by E.G. Lutz, a fairly terrifying drawing of a cat with a drinking problem that can be seen below, although we have very little  information about it.

Original E.G. Lutz cartoon, circa late 1880s, from the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

The forgotten E.G. Lutz was a jack of all trades, and it is unfortunate that not much is known about him. We strongly encourage any contributions in our comments section with more knowledge about his life and work, and feel he would be a great topic of research from animation to anthropology.

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UPDATE:

Blog reader, cartoonist and comics educator Ryan Claytor was inspired to make an animated gif of E.G. Lutz’s “Tigress and Her Cubs” to find out how it worked after reading our post! Check it out: