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!

Found in the Collection: Richard D. Taylor (1902-1970)

Richard Denison Taylor, or “R. Taylor” as much of his work was signed, is another less-celebrated New Yorker cartoonist (though not nearly as elusive as our beloved Barbara Shermund). Taylor came to New York from his birth place in Ontario in 1935, and during his peak his work could be seen in The New Yorker, Esquire, Collier’s, The Saturday Evening Post, Playboy and more. His characters were known for their “poached egg eyes”, with low-hanging eyelids and often perverse sensibilities.

"Hello Darling --- Guess Who?" Richard D. Taylor original art gag rough, from the Sidney Carroll Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Although Taylor is most known for his gag cartoons which poked fun at society, and humorous illustrations for a variety of books (Fractured French, My Husband Keeps Telling Me To Go To Hell, Half a Dollar Is Better Than None  etc), it seems his private passion–and one he would pursue til late in life without seeking commercial benefit–was fantasy art. Taylor created a fantasy world called Frodokom, in which he based an entire series of watercolor, print and oil paintings that featured surrealistic creatures and landscapes. Maurice Horn’s Encyclopedia of Cartooning says of Taylor’s work “There is an individuality to his large-eyed, heavy lidded characters that makes one think of fairy tales and other worlds…”  In the mid 1930s, he created 40 illustrations for Worm’s End, an adult fantasy book by Lionel Reed.

Gag cartooning, it would seem, was pursued at least initially in order to make ends meet. We can find his earliest gag work in 1927 in the Toronto humor magazine Goblin (akin to America’s Puck, Britain’s Punch and Mexico’s Multicolor) which ran from 1921-1929. Taylor’s illustrations in those days would range in style, and he would sign under many different names- most commonly Ricardo and Rick Taylor. Much later in life, he wrote and illustrated his own how-to book, entitled Introduction to Cartooning. Whether he felt more compelled by his surrealist work or not, Taylor’s incredible sense of humor was omnipresent. In the introduction to his own book By The Dawn’s Ugly Light: a Pictorial Study of the Hangover, Taylor writes: “In these the latter days it may be truly said that anyone never visited by the hang-over is not of the times… Life, as it is experienced in circles directly in contact with contemporary affairs, is largely a matter of interludes between hang-overs.”

"...You wouldn't care to revise that part about attributing your remarkably long life and excellent health to breaking all the rules?" Richard D. Taylor original art, from the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Oddly enough, R. Taylor’s first income as an artist came from coloring magic lantern slides for Sunday schools, which makes me wonder if laboring over those beautifully illuminated standalone images wasn’t an influence for his later work as a single-panel cartoonist.

Richard D. Taylor’s collection is part of the Canadian Library & Archives, though we are fortunate enough to have a small number of his gag cartoon originals and a wide range of his bound books here at the Cartoon Library.