« Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas. You know, the birth of Santa? » – Matt Groening
We’re back with another piping hot batch of Holiday cartoons from the pages of Playboy. I have striven mightily to represent most of the big guns (Kiraz and Smilby are among the missing — better luck next year, gents!) whilst keeping it to a tidy, cherry-picked dozen. One can only take so many ‘Randy Santa’ gags, even when they’re lavishly illustrated… that’s only a fraction of the culling process.
And that’s our crop for this year… hope your holidays are bright and merry, under the circumstances. Joyeux Noël, one and all!
« … every idiot who goes about with a ‘Merry Christmas‘ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. » — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)
Whoa, is the accursed Holiday Season upon us again already? Given the rather baffling (but greatly appreciated) popularity of our previous brochette of Christmas-themed Playboy cartoons, which took off in… April and just kept gathering steam, we’ve chosen to just go with the flow and present you with a sequel. We’ve had more time and opportunity to dig further, so we’ve cherry-picked a dozen, both naughty and nice, with plenty left over for next year. We’ve taken pains to include some of the worthy cartoonists who were somehow left out of last year’s legendary Playboy Cartoons for a Festive Mood.
Here we go, then. Season’s greetings and all that rot!
With every passing year, I have more and more trouble getting into the spirit of Christmas (especially since all the snow has now melted). An early present of Rodney Crowell’s Christmas Everywhere helped a bit, but to speed things along some more – and before Christmas Eve takes me by surprise – I’d like to titillate everybody’s taste buds with this spread of Playboy Christmas cartoons.
A quick post in salute of Hugh Hefner (1926-2017), who truly was a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me, he remains, chief among these, one rare and precious thing: a steadfast, lifelong friend and patron to great cartoonists, a man of taste, at least in that particular area.
Here are a few relevant pieces. Mere drops in the bottomless bucket. All in good time, we’ll return to this topic.
It’s astonishing how much toil an artist will put in, just to sell a simple gag. It doesn’t hurt if he’s recompensed decently, of course. Case in point: Ben Denison, for Playboy Magazine’s November, 1961 issue. Hugh Hefner has always known the value of his contributors, bless his great big heart.
Dink Siegel (1910-2003), from Playboy’s May, 1968 issue.