Tag: Eldon Dedini

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: 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

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!