"Of course I love you Gladys, - I'm just not ready to marry and settle down yet."

Dublin Core


"Of course I love you Gladys, - I'm just not ready to marry and settle down yet."


Dedini, Eldon Lawrence



11 x 8 1/2 inches



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Eldon Dedini, a cartoonist whose ribald drawings and sophisticated wit graced the New Yorker and Playboy magazines for a half century, died Thursday of cancer of the esophagus. He was 84 and lived in the Carmel area. A prolific cartoonist, Mr. Dedini is perhaps best known for his watercolor illustrations for Playboy in the 1960s and '70s, depicting horny satyrs chasing voluptuous nymphs. But New Yorker readers would be more familiar with his black and white snapshots of everyday life, with some wry observation as the punch line. Whether the drawing was erotic or subdued, he always went about it the same way, he told The Chronicle's Leah Garchik during a 1980 interview. The gag always came first, Mr. Dedini told her. He would draw only after he thought of the joke. To Mr. Dedini, the drawing explained the joke, not the other way around. "The gag is the whole secret of cartooning," he told the Monterey County Herald last year. "Style alone will never sell a bum joke. So you can draw. A million people can draw. The question is: Are you funny?" And funny he was, both on paper and in person, said a friend of several decades and a fellow cartoonist. "He was a superb gagman," said Gus Arriola, whose "Gordo" comic strip ran in The Chronicle for 44 years, until 1985. And, "he was the most popular at any gathering. He always brought a laugh." "He made us laugh until the day he died," said his only child, Giulio of San Luis Obispo. But Mr. Dedini was no loudmouth. His nickname among fellow cartoonists was "The King," said Arriola. There were two reasons for the moniker: He grew up in King City, in southern Monterrey County. And his gentlemanly, erudite manner was kingly. Mr. Dedini was a voracious reader. His son once counted 25 newspaper and magazine subscriptions in the house, from the local town paper to Art in America and the Paris Review. Mr. Dedini read to get ideas for his cartoons. But he also read for the sheer pleasure of reading and learning, his son said. "He knew everything," said Arriola. "He was like an encyclopedia. Rather than look things up, I'd just call him and he'd tell me the answer." Mr. Dedini's rise to the rarefied world of successful cartoonists was a far cry from his roots. He was the oldest of two brothers, and his father was a bookkeeper at the local dry goods store before becoming a cattle rancher. His mom raised the boys. But Mr. Dedini showed a talent for drawing at an early age. He also loved comics, especially Popeye. To encourage him, his mom would cut his favorites from the Sunday funnies and make little comic books for him to carry around. Mr. Dedini sold his first cartoon to Esquire magazine when he was a community college student at Salinas Junior College, now called Hartnell College. He graduated from the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1944. While at Chouinard, he met Virginia Conroy, a student in abstract art who would be his wife for 61 years. She was working in the school library to help pay for her education at the time; he was working as a school janitor. After graduation, Mr. Dedini had short stints at Universal Studios and then at Disney before joining the Esquire staff in 1946. Four years later, he moved to the New Yorker. In 1960, he also began working for Playboy. A hard worker, he got up at 5 a.m. to start drawing, and would churn out dozens of potential cartoons each week. His portfolio also included the posters for the annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance classic car show and the Monterey Jazz Festival. True to his nature, he continued to work until last year.





Media Details


Signature Position

Signed, lower right


Mel Casson


Dedini, Eldon Lawrence, “"Of course I love you Gladys, - I'm just not ready to marry and settle down yet.",” Westport Public Schools Digital Collections, accessed August 8, 2022,

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: Staples Art Storage
This Item dcterms:creator Item: Eldon Lawrence Dedini