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DescriptionBEN DENISON (American 20th Century)
Original Playboy cartoon from the very first issue, Playboy #1, December 1953
Gouache on board
11 x 8-1/2in.
Signed lower left
Caption: "Jeannie -- what's the past tense of 'virgin?'"
Offered here an exceptional piece of Playboy lore -- the very first cartoon ever to appear in Playboy #1 (otherwise known as the "Marilyn Monroe issue"). This eye-opener was showcased in the December 1953 issue, on page 9. Its creator, Ben Denison, was an accomplished artist who produced scores of sizzling illustrations for Playboy during the magazine's critical, formative years. Of the tens of thousands of cartoons since published in Playboy, it's important to recognize that this is "the one that started it all." This superb, sexy illustration was the first commissioned piece of artwork to be printed in the premiere issue's interior. The tasteful, yet provocative humor of this sultry scene captured the look and attitudes of the 1950's to a T -- in short, it was a perfect fit for the successful editorial formula of the magazine. This historic cartoon was also published in 1970's The Playboy Cartoon Album #1, a collection of Playboy's most famous cartoons.
The art is in Excellent condition.
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2017 May 12 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas