Victor Weisz, FSIA (1913-1966), known as 'Vicky' Four years after his arrival from Germany in 1935, Vicky prepared for his work as political cartoonist of the News Chronicle by making a year’s study of English culture and society. Developing a brittle and biting pen line, he then drew for the Daily Mirror and the Evening Standard, for which he created ‘Supermac’, his highly memorable caricature of Harold Macmillan.
Vicky was born in Berlin of Hungarian-Jewish parents on 25 April 1913. At the age of 11, he studied with the painter Tennstedt. Following the suicide of his father, in 1928, he supported his family by becoming a freelance caricaturist. He worked as sports and theatre cartoonist for the radical anti-Nazi journal, 12 Uhr Blatt, until, in 1933, the paper was taken over by the Nazis.
Saved by the possession of a Hungarian passport from early incarceration, Vicky left Germany for England, arriving in London on 9 October 1935. He contributed cartoons to a wide variety of periodicals, including the Evening Standard’s ‘Londoners Diary’ and the Daily Telegraph’s Peterborough column; the ‘Cockalorum’ series to World Film News, the strip ‘Vicky by Vicky’ to the Sunday Chronicle, the ‘Funny Figures’ series to the Daily Mail and the ‘Nazi Nuggets’ series to the Daily Mirror. For six years, between 1937 and 1943, he produced cartoons for the independent weekly, Time and Tide. In 1939, his talents were recognised by Gerald Barry, the editor of the News Chronicle, who sent Vicky on a year’s study of English culture and society before allowing him to join the newspaper as political cartoonist. Sharing a room with Richard Winnington, the Chronicle’s film caricaturist, had a decisive effect upon Vicky’s style: he shed the influence of Low and began to use a pen line both more brittle and more biting. He moved to the Daily Mirror in 1954, and then the Evening Standard, in 1958, for which he produced ‘Supermac’, his highly memorable caricature of Harold Macmillan. He also contributed to the New Statesman and, as ‘Pierrot’ to L’Express. Suffering from depression, he committed suicide at his home in London on 23 February 1966.
His work is represented in numerous public collections, including the National Portrait Gallery; and the British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent (Canterbury).