Dink Siegel’s Swingin’ Roommates

« I have the best roommates in the world! It creates a fun sense of family… and that’s really important to me. Things can get so lonely without it. » — Kristen Bell

It’s late November, and, to quote John, the Wolfking of L.A., « All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray ». Outside my window, just about everyone’s dressed for a funeral and there’s a traffic jam in dire shades of monochrome.

How did we come to this? Bah.

I think it first struck me how afraid of bright colour* we’d become, as a society, from years of ads for Bose’s odiously-designed Wave® sound systems, as consistently expensive are they are hideous (so they must sound fantastic!), circa the early 2000s.

Available in all your favourite colours, neither of which is technically a colour: Platinum White or Graphite Gray.
Be still my fluttering heart: in 2009, Bose figured “what the heck, let the paint chips fall where they may!” and introduced a new “colour”: yes baby, Titanium Silver!

Today, I’m going to (gasp!) restore some colour to your lives. This may lead to a sudden jolt, so avert your eyes if necessary.

Strictly speaking, I don’t have a favourite Playboy cartoonist — honestly, how could I, with that sumptuous, half-century-plus embarrassment of multifarious riches? Ah, but I certainly hold Leo ‘Dink’ Siegel (June 30, 1910 — Dec. 28, 2003) in quite lofty regard, thanks to his fantastic sense of design, his bold, delicious colour palette and his fastidious attention to detail (pay and treat your cartoonists well, and see what you get!). Today, I’ll concentrate on Siegel’s ‘roommates’ series; there’s generally a black pussycat hanging about, a fine furry bonus.

Here we go!

From Playboy Magazine (Mar. 1966). From what I can discern, Siegel mostly worked in gouache and coloured pencils.
From Playboy Magazine (Nov. 1966).
From Playboy Magazine (Dec. 1966). One can’t help but wonder whether Mr. Siegel had a sideline in interior design.
From Playboy Magazine (Aug. 1967). I see art students were always fairly blasés.
From Playboy Magazine (Sept. 1967).
From Playboy Magazine (Jun. 1968).
From Playboy Magazine (date unknown).
From Playboy Magazine (Mar. 1970).
From Playboy Magazine (Apr. 1970). I love that the girls seem to have an existence beyond the confines of the jokes: they have jobs, various hobbies and interests and, obviously, active social lives.
From Playboy Magazine (Aug. 1971).

– RG

*Oh, do check out this pseudo-scientific cluster of twaddle and pop-psych claptrap!

5 thoughts on “Dink Siegel’s Swingin’ Roommates

  1. tref November 29, 2019 / 18:45

    Favorite playboy artist: Gahan Wilson (Kurtzman & Elder would be my first choice, but their best work was in Mad)


    • gasp65 November 29, 2019 / 22:21

      Hi George! For me, it’s too many cases of apples-and-oranges… which testifies to Hugh Hefner’s skill and taste as a cartoon editor: he loved all kinds of styles, and didn’t push for homogeneity, as a lesser man would have. I mean, you don’t expect the likes of Gahan Wilson, Shel Silverstein, Jack Davis or Charles Rodrigues to bring the sexy — but you do want them on board.

      And yeah, I can’t help but think of the just-mildly-amusing Little Annie Fanny as a waste of Kurtzman and Elder’s formidable talents… but it kept them fed and housed, which is right and good. Kurtzman had far more bad luck than he deserved, so a nice break was in order.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tref November 30, 2019 / 02:18

        Well said.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s