Tuesday, June 26, 2012

1972 Politicards

Various Politicards

"Politicards" were a set of 54 playing cards created in 1971, released in 1972 in anticipation of that fall's presidential election. They were conceived and designed by 26 year old designer and illustrator Peter Green, although he received no credit anywhere on the actual box or cards. The cards humorously depicted various politicians, candidates, wives of politicians, celebrities, and other familiar faces, including 2 "jokers", then (briefly) NY mayoral candidates Norman Mailer and William F. Buckly. Both parties were represented, conservatives, moderates to liberals, all beautifully and effortlessly caricatured in watercolor and color pencil,  to in many cases maximum humorous effect by Green.

 Subsequent "Politicards" or variations of the same theme have come out over the years by various artists, including Peter Green, but this original set remains my favorite, possibly because they were the originals, but more likely because these David Levine inspired caricatures hit a nerve with the public, and with me as well. I loved and poured over these when I first purchased them (at Brentanos) at age 12, and they've had a lasting influence on my work over the years, particularly my political drawings.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of the original Politicards, I'm posting them all here. If you're seeing these for the first time, enjoy!
Politicards box front, "King" Richard Nixon

Side and back of the box
Illustrator Peter Green displaying some of the work done for Politicards

In his studio with "joker" Norman Mailer on the easel

1972 Los Angeles Times article on Politicards and Peter Green  which help sell the initial print run out within weeks


A Who's Who...

All 54 Politicards...


  1. You've done it again! Introduced me to an artist I didn't know about. Nice work. Did Peter Green go on to do a lot more in this vein?

  2. Drew, I knew Peter well back in the day and he gave me an original set. Don't think I still have it though. Peter Green had a greater ability to draw likenesses than anyone I have ever met, including that other great, Philip Burke, who is far more famous for his caricatures. When he was very young he hung out on the boardwalks around Chicago, drawing people's likenesses for a buck. We have lost track of each other but I know he moved to L.A., where I once visited him. A great friend and a greater talent.

  3. Thank you Drew! I have my set still complete from when I bought it in 1972 (age 9) while in Fountain Valley CA. Thanks for the Scorecard post; if those came with the set, that's the only cards missing.

  4. I only collect the jokers. I now have a section that I call celebrity jokers but it's mostly the politicard jokers. Came here looking for info, my set is incomplete... https://www.amusedbyjokersami.com/2020/08/celebrity-commentator-jokers.html