Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Claude Smith: An Immersive Competition

A six-panel color cartoon by Claude Smith appeared in the February 1958 issue of Playboy. The original art was sold at auction in Brooklyn over the weekend by Antique Arena, Inc. The panels are numbered top to bottom, left to right, and the wordless cartoon must have been printed across two facing magazine pages:

This multi-panel cartoon shows a wealthy, middle-aged man sitting at his swimming pool while hosting a couple of attractive female companions. Over the wall, he observes his neighbor's well-attended pool party and feels compelled to outdo him. It's an example of keeping up with the Joneses while following the supposed Playboy lifestyle. The young women in bathing suits, then, are commodities the men use to compete against each other. 
There's an assumption in a great many cartoons of this type that money buys sexual success. It's a belief of which many a young and impoverished man is easily convinced. It might even be true.

Claude Smith
Antique Arena, Inc., listing of June 15, 2024

Note:  Sure I'd love to see your original cartoon art by Claude Smith, who signs his art Claude. Thanks for asking. And thanks for the invitation to your pool.



  1. It looks like you can use some help with your theme. I suggest adding a max-width of 100% to your post-body img style rule.

    1. Thanks, Enrique Guerrero. I believe in giving more than 100%.