The cartoonist ‘Vicky’ was born Victor Weisz in Germany, of Hungarian Jewish extraction. He attended the Berlin School of Art, leaving when his father died in 1928, and published cartoons in German newspapers. As a member of the Jewish community with openly socialist political opinions, he decided to leave Germany once Adolf Hitler gained power. He settled in London in 1935, working on various newspapers and journals, including the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, New Statesman, and Evening Standard, becoming Britain’s leading left-wing cartoonist by the 1940s. In 1941, through to 1955, Vicky became staff cartoonist on the News Chronicle, ‘building a reputation as an incisive commentator on political events’. Vicky was personally commissioned to do work for the MOI by Edwin Embleton. One of Vicky’s most enduring creations was ‘Supermac’, a caricature produced in 1958, of Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, intended ironically but often interpreted in Macmillan’s favour’. Suffering from depression and insomnia, Weisz committed suicide on February 22 1966.
Publications: Aftermath: Cartoons by Vicky (1946); Unpublished Cartoons by Vicky (1947); New Statesman Profiles (1957); Vicky’s World (1959); Home and Abroad (1964)
Information collated from: National Portrait Gallery, ‘Victor Weisz (1913-1966),’Vicky’; cartoonist’, http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp05898&role=art, accessed March 24 2004; Spartacus Schoolnet, ‘Victor Weisz (Vicky)’, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jvicky.htm, last updated June 24 2002, accessed March 25 2004; Questionnaire submitted by Royall, K. to Embleton, E., Royall, K., ‘Posters of the Second World War: The Fourth Arm of British Defence’, Unpublished M.A., University of Westminster, 1991, p.123; Anonymous, ‘Victor Weisz’, http://www.hungary.org.uk/English/diary/2002/weisz.htm, accessed March 25 2003
Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.