Victor Hicks


John Henry Victor Daguerre Hicks, known in the family as Victor, was born 26 June 1893 in Belfast, Ireland, the second son of John Walker Hicks and his wife Marie, proprietors of the Hotel Metropole, College Square North. Elder son Cyril William Hanna Hicks had been born in January 1891, and a daughter, Ogna Edna Muriel Kathleen Pearl Cockburn Hicks, was born in the autumn of 1899.

J Walker Hicks' hobby was photography and in the late 1890s he took up cinematography, touring around Ireland presenting his films under the pseudonym "Professor Kineto". In 1900 he filmed Queen Victoria's visit to Dublin, processing and printing the footage in time to show it in Belfast that evening. When Victoria died the following year it was reported in the Larne Times of February 9, 1901, that "Professor Kineto" had a wreath of shamrocks, in the shape of a harp with a broken string, sent for the funeral with an attached photograph of his sons Cyril and Victor, dressed as a soldier and a sailor posing either side of the wreath, bearing the words "From two little Irish boys."

J Walker Hicks put the Metropole up for sale, but initially there were no takers. After standing empty for a year it was finally bought in 1905 as a Mission Hall for the Adult Deaf and Dumb. The Hicks family moved to England, settling in the London Borough of Fulham, and "Professor Kineto" began touring the home counties.

According to the auctioneers Onslows' website Victor Hicks trained at the Slade, but there seems to be no record of this. The 1911 census shows Victor, at 17, going on 18, working from home as a freelance poster designer. His older brother Cyril is an assistant in a theatre box-office, and their father has taken a job as manager of the Aeroscope Company Ltd in Charing Cross Road. This company had been set up to sell the Aeroscope, a film camera that ran on compressed air, freeing the cameraman from the need to crank. Hand-cranked cameras needed to be on a sturdy tripod to allow the cameraman to use his other hand to adjust focus. The Aerosope could be hand-held, making it much more convenient, and it became very popular with newsreel cameramen. The Aeroscope Company Ltd, however, was a short-lived enterprise. The rights had been purchased from the inventor, Kazimierz Prószyński, by Gerald Michael Bishop, who set up the company. The engineering company made several changes to Prdszyński's design, rendering the camera less efficient and the business failed, going into liquidation in 1913. Naturalist photographer Cherry Keaton, who had bought one of the cameras and recognised its value, acquired the rights and put Prószyński in charge of supervising the manufacture, with successful results. J Walker Hicks subsequently joined the Williamson Kine Company. Cyril remained working in the Theatre, becoming a producer in the 1930s.

Victor Hicks was a talented and inventive artist and aware of the importance of self-promotion. His career can be pieced together from items in the press, starting with this entry, with photograph, from the Daily Mail, 16 June 1914:

    Mr. Victor Hicks, aged nineteen, who is one of the most successful poster artists of the day, at work in his studio. He has designed posters for George Robey, Harry Tate and Wilkie Bard.

At the time of publication Victor was in fact already twenty: his twenty-first birthday was due in ten days time.

Promotion for sister Ogna, now an actress, became a family affair:

    The subject of our illustration is Miss Ogna Hicks, a charming young lady who is now appearing as Miss Nancy in "Brer Rabbit" at the Repertory Theatre in Liverpool. Miss Hicks is the daughter of Mr. J. Walker Hicks, the topical manager of the Williamson Kine Company, and is the sister of Mr. Victor Hicks, the well-known poster artist and cartoonist. We hear it is not unlikely that this chic young lady will be seen on the screen shortly in a production by one of our leading managers.
[The Bioscope 20 January 1916]

One of a Clever Family.
    The subject of the accompanying photograph—Miss Ogna Hicks—comes of a clever family connected in various ways with the artistic and entertainment world. Her father, Mr. J. Walker Hicks, is the well-known topical manager of the Williamson Kinematograph Co., while Mr. Victor Hicks, her brother, is a rapidly rising poster designer and cartoonist. Miss Hicks' own talents run in the direction of the stage. She has been appearing recently in "Brer Rabbit," at the Liverpool Repertory Theatre, and hopes shortly to take a part in a new film by a leading producer. Our photo shows her as the Dutch Girl in "Brer Rabbit."
[Kinematograph Weekly 3 February 1916]

Alas, there is no record of her appearing in films. Returning to Victor, a picture item highlighted his charity work:

[Picture of Hicks sketching on small pad]
Mr. Victor Hicks, who, in the interval of designing posters and stage settings, draws sketches for charity. Mr. George Robey sold several by auction at a garden party at Kensington.
[Daily Mirror 25 July 1916]

Victor's interest in theatre design and effects led to the creation of a 15-minute act:

    The chief novelty of the current bill at the Coliseum is a little sketch, "Something Simple," which has been written by the well-known caricaturist, Mr. Victor Hicks. The stage cloth represents a slate covered with childish drawings of a house and a pond—"no fishin' aloud." The house is Honeymoon Hotel, where the little girl heroine, who has apparently wandered from the pages of Alice in Wonderland, finds a haven with her man in khaki. She has drawn a chalk man, who, when he comes to life, has disagreeable things to say. Mis Alice Russon, who has great charm and daintiness, sings prettily such numbers as "Back to Blighty," and with Mr. Austin shares the success of a new dance, "The Hen Run." Mr. Austin plays the chalk man, and the production is by Mr. Leslie Stiles. The effects will work better after a few performances and a little more humour.
[The Era 1 November 1916]

    Victor Hicks, the well-known young cartoonist, whose sketch creation, "Something Simple," is at the Bedford this week, is the son of Mr. Hicks, of the Williamson Kinematograph Company, Limited.
[The Bioscope 26 October 1916]

    In referring last week to Victor Hicks, the well-known artist and cartoonest, we made an error in stating that he was appearing at the Bedford. We should have said the Chiswick Empire; and so successful was he in "Something Simple" (a very original and clever sketch, the book and music being the work of Mr Leslie Stiles, who also produced) that the turn was secured by the management of the Coliseum, and he is appearing there this week.
[The Bioscope 2 November 1916]

    A novel and amusing little sketch was recently incorporated in the Coliseum programme, called "Something Simple." A schoolboy's slate, ascribed to the familiar nursery hero, Jack Horner, forms the scene, and is adorned with typical schoolboy drawings by the well-known black-and-white artist, Mr. Victor Hicks. Certain figures not so grotesque as the Special Constable, for instance, come to life off the slate, so to speak, and proceed to dance and sing with entertaining effect. Miss Alice Russon and Mr. Gregory make very good use of the opportunities thus provided for them in a quaint setting. "Something Simple" is a refreshing change.
[The Sketch 8 November 1916]

I am inclined to suspect that the source of the following story was Hicks himself rather than the Gaumont Film Hire Service (who would hardly complain at the free publicity)...

    The Gaumont Film Hire Service have received many inquiries as to the identity of the artist who has been designing the posters for the G.F.H.S. Comedies, and they ask me to make it generally known to the trade that Mr. Victor Hicks is the gentleman in question. Mr. Hicks is a young Irishman who has very quickly made his name in London. He was for a time caricaturist for The Star, and afterwards devoted his attentions to revue posters. He then turned to black and white comedy sketches, producing about five a day as advertisements for "Ye Gods," the comedy which recently ran so successfully at the Kingsway Theatre.
    Gaumont's, in endeavouring to obtain distinctive posters for their comedies, allowed several poster firms to compete. The Anima Litho Co.'s sketches, which were done by Mr. Hicks, easily proved winners, and so this young artist has been commissioned to design all the Gaumont Comedy posters.
[The Bioscope 22 February 1917]

In March 1918 comes the first mention of an animated cartoon:

    I am told that that clever poster designer, Mr. Victor Hicks, has almost completed work upon a film cartoon. His ambitious pen work allied with his natural wit should result in an exceedingly clever and amusing film cartoon.
[The Bioscope 28 March 1918]

In April, in an article announcing his intention to produce live-action comedies, comes the first mention of his link with Kine Komedy Kartoons):

    VICTOR HICKS, whose posters for the Gaumont Company's comedies are familiar to us all in kinema-land, is going to utilise his undoubted humour in another direction, namely, the production of a series of comedies featuring one of London's leading laughter-makers.
    Mr. Hicks, though only 23 years of age, has made his peculiar signature famous, for it must have appeared on sketches, cartoons, and posters many thousands of times.
    Two years ago he enjoyed the unique position of being the youngest cartoonist ever attached to a great London newspaper, holding this position on the Star for upwards of a year.
    In addition to his kinema activities, he finds time to "boom" various West End theatrical productions, present a show of his own in the variety theatres, design costumes and contribute to several humorous weeklies, not forgetting his animated cartoons which he is producing for the Kine Komedy Kartoon Kompany.
    The Trade have something for which to thank Mr. Hicks, for he has by his poster work helped to a great extent to raise the level of this side of kinematography. His posters are unique, amusing, bright and artistic, and always in good taste. The kinema poster of the past had something to do with the great outcry against picture theatres some few years ago—it never really truthfully represented the picture it endeavoured to portray—and even today there is room for improvement in this direction in many cases.
    Mr.Hicks has shown clearly that it is quite possible to have a poster that will catch the eye and "draw" and at the same time be artistic in conception and colour, and we trust that his "pioneering" will be followed by others. Gaumont's are issuing some of the finest posters in the kinema industry.
    Here's wishing all the best to "one of the best." Victor Hicks has a brilliant career before him.
[Kinematograph Weekly 25 April 1918]

The following week Frank Zeitlin confirms they have a contract:

Mr. Frank Zeitlin, the proprietor of Kine Komedy Kartoons, informs us that he has entered into a contract with Victor Hicks for a series of animated cartoons in that artist's well-known style. The K.K.K.'s latest film, "The British Through German Eyes," by Anson Dyer, has proved a big success, while a further edition of an "Office Boy's Dictionary," by Dudley Buxton, will be ready at an early date. Mr. Zeitlin is to be congratulated upon his connection with clever Mr. Hicks.
[The Kinematograph Weekly 2 May 1918]

A part of this association, it would appear, involved Zeitlin helping Hicks revive the Something Simple sketch:

    The musical moonologue in one bright beam, as it is described, entitled Make-Believe, which Frank Zeitlin and Victor Hicks are presenting at the Chelsea Palace this week, has been seen before, and has already been noticed in these columns. One notes, however, that the book has been touched up here and there, in order to fit in with topical matters, and that sundry other little improvements have been effected in the piece. It is a mélange of song and comedy, given before a black-and-white back scene, designed by Victor Hicks, representing a schoolboy's slate, and some diversion is caused when the childish drawings upon the slate become animated. Madge White, Geoffrey Gwyther, and company put in some acceptable work in song and dance, and there is a lively chorus of young ladies. The book and lyrics of Make-Believe are by Hugh E. Wright, the music comes from Pat Thayer, and the whole has been produced by Fred Farren.
[The Stage 23 May 1918]

In June it seems that Hicks has completed his cartoon film:

    Mr. Frank Zeitlin, of the Kine Komedy Kartoons, informs us that Victor Hick's latest cartoon, "Twice Nightly," a burlesque of a music hall show, has been purchased by Walturdaw, and will be released by them during the week. Mr. Zeitlin is also busy on a series of propaganda cartoons which will shortly be shown throughout the country.
[The Bioscope 20 June 1918]

Again I wonder if it was Hicks, rather than Zeitlin, who supplied this story. Unfortunately this film seems not to have survived; moreover, I have found no record of its release.

It appears that Kine Komedy Kartoons only managed to release 8 or 9 films during 1918 — not enough to match the American studios' output. It was clear to the animators that the company was in trouble. Zeitlin approached more noted print cartoonists and signed up Poy and J A Shepherd, their published cartoons to be animated by Zeitlin's staff. He made a deal with distributors Phillips Film Co for a series of 12 cartoons, three by each of Zeitlin's animators, to be released in 1919 under the name of Phillips Philm Phables.

Victor Hicks was not a contributor to this series. He seems to have been the first to jump ship, making a deal with the film exporter Lionel Phillips, who had left Phillips Films a year earlier to form the Lionel Phillips Company.

In the Kinematograph Weekly dated 6 February 1919 Lionel Phillips took out a full page advertisement in the form of a spoof serial entitled:

This page has nothing to do with [the trademark of Lionel Phillips] of 29a, Charing Cross Road, and the Mark that Means Merit. He has nothing to do with it—except pay for it at current rates.

The main body of the text recounts the successful exporting of various titles, and ends on a cliffhanger: "Was the wire being tampered with?— (To be continued in our next.)". But it begins:

    At considerable risk, and following out an idea which we cribbed from Count Bernstorff's Secrets, we fitted a dictagraphaphone to the offices of Lionel Phillips, at 29a, Charing Cross Road, so that we might keep in touch with the World's Film Markets. Many items of interest reached us over the line, whilst at times the incidents in the life of a Film Exporter created such excitement in our office that the errand boy was kept busy running to the chemist for sal volatile instead of the usual—but that's another story. At this moment another voice broke in, and in loud, raucous tones, shouted: "Thou hast freed me from a million years' captivity. From now thy every wish shall be granted."

CHAPTER III.—(Continued).
    "THEN get busy, baby, and let me see myself as others see me," the reply came over the line in the bright tones of the voice of Victor Hicks, who was reading over some of the sub-titles of a series of Fun Fantasy Comedies which Lionel Phillips is having produced in single reels, and which are entitled A GENI AND A GENIUS. These will soon be ready for the World's Markets, and are said to be the very latest and best ever seen on a screen. (Our office boy chipped in with: "I've seen the first one—nipped into the theatre when I delivered last week's proof—and if I says it's orl rite, blimy, it is orl rite; never mind abaht what Lionel says.") Therefore, we can only conclude it is "orl rite.".

In the Export Supplement of the same issue the series is one of four items featured in a Lionel Phillips advertisement offering Foreign and Colonial Rights for sale. The second A Geni and a Genius film in this proposed Fun Fantasy Comedies series was completed by April 1919 and reports started to appear in the press:

A New Note in Comedy.
    A novel note has been struck by Victor Hicks, who has created and produced a series of "funfantasies" entitled "A Genius and the Geni," throughout which Charlie Chaplain is depicted as peregrinating person in the land of Fancy Free. Under the guidance of the "Genie of the Jar," whom he has freed from ten thousand years' captivity, and who in return grants Charlie "his every wish," he undergoes many adventures. For originality of comedy manipulation and artistic production, this series, I am told, surpass anything of the kind yet seen on the screen. I hope to be able to confirm his claim when I have seen them. These "funfantasies" are one-reelers, about 650 feet each, and have already been sold to India, Burma, Ceylon France, Spain, Holland and Scandinavia, while samples are already on their way to America.
[Kinematograph Weekly 24 April 1919]

    Lionel Phillips, in collaboration with Victor Hicks, has produced a series of cartoons entitled "A Genii and a Genius," which for sheer originality surpass anything of the kind yet seen on the screen. It is certainly no exaggeration when stating they are the funniest things ever offered and right away from the ordinary. Charlie Chaplin is portrayed visiting the realms of phantasy, and his journey through Mars and the Milky Way are worth going a long way to see. These cartoons are in one reel, each of about 650 feet.
[The Bioscope 6 May 1919]

The BFI holds copies of the two films, which are in the cut-out animation tradition. I have not found any release dates. No further episodes were made.

    One of the latest recruits at the great Joy Loan "stunt factory" is Victor Hicks, the brilliant young cartoonist, who tells me that he is drawing a special animated cartoon to assist the good cause. George R. Sims has promised to write the sub-titles for the film, which will be seen at the kinemas as soon as it is ready.
[The Dundee Evening Telegraph 24 June 1919]

The "Joy Loan" was a bond scheme launched in June 1919, intended to pay off the government's short-term loans and revitalise the economy. It was heavily promoted and brought in significantly more funds than the exchequer had anticipated.

In issue 6 of the British film magazine Film Plays (not to be confused with the American magazine Film Play) published 20 December 1919, Victor Hicks contributed an article titled How a Christmas Screen Cartoon is Made. It makes no mention of the Charlie Chaplin series or Lionel Phillips; instead it promotes a new series:

    When I sat down to create "Spick and Span," the well-known cartoon heroes for the film booking offices, it seemed to me it would be a matter of years rather than weeks before these laughter-makers reached the audiences in the cinemas.
    To explain the complete method would take volumes, but some idea of the task will be gathered from the fact that these cartoons are thrown on the screen at the rate of a picture a second, and the cartoonist has, in some cases, to draw and redraw the same picture perhaps dozens of times with very little difference in order to create motion.
    In the case of "Spick and Span" the work was even greater than usual from the fact that I introduced background and tones into each picture and was most fastidious on the artistic side—a fact that is usually overlooked on this class of work.

If the text of this story has been sub-edited it is to the detriment of both content and grammer. "Well-known" seems to be Hicks' favourite phrase: I can find no reference to Spick and Span other than those citing this article. The phrase "for the film booking offices" presumably refers to the distribution company Film Booking Offices (1919) Ltd.

Silent films were projected at around 16 frames per second. Sequential animation drawings were sometimes exposed twice per drawing, making a rate of 8 pictures per second (this does not flow smoothly but is just about acceptable for simple movements). "a picture a second" is most likely a sub-editor's revision — oherwise it would suggest that Hicks was not that closely involved in the animation process. Redrawing the same picture over and over again "with very little difference" is an accurate enough description of drawn animation to impress the reader with the time-consuming monotony, but for a sequential animator it is the difference that is the point of the exercise and the motivation for pressing on.

Victor Hicks' previous films had been animated by moving jointed cut-out figures under the camera a frame at a time and it would seem that the Spick and Span series was no exception. The article shows three pictures of "Spick and Span" on the screen: (1) In the "Island of Apes"; (2) Down in Dixie; and (3) They visit a Sea-Serpent. It is not clear if these represent three seperate films, or different scenes from one film. There seems to be no other record of these films.

Trotsky and Pussyfoot Supply Humorous Incidents.

    The great Pan Ball at Covent Garden was a wonderful sight, and the dresses in beauty and originality surpassed anything ever seen in the famous theatre.
    Mr Victor Hicks, as Trotsky, with his blood-curdling pamphlets, and a gentleman as Pussyfoot, with appropriate tracts, supplied a large part of the humorous incidents in a festival which ought to bring a substantial sum to the funds of St Bartholomew's Hospital.
    The only unpleasant incident was the throwing of some champagne bottles from the top tier of boxes among the dancers. It was a marvel that nobody was killed or seriously injured, but luckily the bottles struck the floor, and only some slight cuts were sustained by splinters of glass.
[The Dundee Evening Telegraph 16 January 1920]

Trotsky, of course, is the Russian Revolutionary, at this point in time in charge of the Red Army as it sought to crush the opposing White Army in the Civil War that followed the Russian Revolution. He believed that Communism could not be maintained in one country alone but required "permanent revolution" with the proletariat taking control worldwide.

Pussyfoot, however, may require explanation. William Eugene Johnson (1862-1945) was an American who campaigned for the outlawing of intoxicating beverages. In 1906 he was made a federal agent to enforce law in Oklahoma and earned the nickname "Pussyfoot" from his stealthy pursuit of suspects: a local paper had referred to him as "the gent with the panther tread". His raids on gambling saloons and other dens of iniquity resulted in 4,400 convictions. He retired from law enforcement in 1911 to concentrate on campaigning for the Anti-Saloon League. A favourite tactic was to write to leaders of the anti-prohibition movement posing as a brewer and asking for advice on dealing with prohibitionist activists. He would then publish any replies that suggested underhand tactics. In 1919 he came to London on behalf of the World League against Alcoholism to "make England dry". On 13 November while speaking at Essex Hall he was abducted by medical students and paraded through the streets — a prank that turned nasty when a missile from the crowd blinded him in one eye. Johnson took the ragging in good part, and later called the lost eye a good investment for the cause of prohibition.

If Victor Hicks did any further work on cartoon films it never made the press. In January 1921 he started drawing cartoon sketches of current productions for The Stage and from May to December he provided header panels and cartoons for the Truths and Trifles page of The Bystander.

In October 1921 he registered the company Victor Hicks Limited, "to carry out the business of artists, cartoonists, publishers of artistic, literary and dramatic works, proprietors of dramatic cinematograph theatres or music-halls, box office keepers, etc."

In 1922 he married Beatrice May Whitley (née Parker, a divorcée with a three-year-old daughter, and they had a son, Peter.

    Victor Hicks, the artist, who is about to produce a series of two-reel comedies, is fortunate in securing a very pretty star in Lily Lansdown. This actress is at present appearing in "The Surpassing Show," and, as you see by her photograph, she will make a charming flapper.
[The Bioscope 19 April 1923]

Victor as potential live-action producer. Again a story that is good promotion for both Victor and, in this case, the music hall prformer and actress Lily Lansdown, but does not appear to have resulted in any recorded films. The activities of the Victor Hicks company ceased soon after, and the company was removed from the register in 1927. With no new projects to promote the need for self-promotion was over: he was already the well-known artist he had claimed to be.

Hicks continued producing cartoons and posters. In the autumn of 1930 a series of stylish, full-page caricatures entitled Sheiks of Laughter pairing stage celebrities in surreal combinations – Sophie Tucker marooned on a desert island that is Jack Hulbert's chin; Stanley Lupino climbing the inverted, rocky face of Laddie Cliff – appeared in the Illustrated Sporting Life and Dramatic News, and from June 1931 he experimented with photographed montages using curled and textured paper shapes etc. to create full-page illustrations, some in full colour, for The Bystander.

His polished art deco style and theatrical design experience led to commissions from bars, clubs and hotels seeking to attract a sophisticated clientele:

Mr. Victor Hicks, a well-known artist and cartoonist, has been engaged to prepare designs and colour schemes for a dance and social club which the management of the Tipnor greyhound racing track have planned for patrons who require the amenities of a smart club with the added zest ot the dog racing. Amid the strains of a fine dance orchestra members will be able to view each race from a flower-decked promenade. Such enterprise planned in the interests of patrons and visitors should certainly not go unrewarded.
    Another interesting feature is that visitors are now invited, before each meeting, to view the racing kennels and quarters of over 250 racing greyhounds. The royal way in which these fine dogs are vetted, fed, and housed will create both surprise and interest.
[The Portsmouth Evening News 17 June 1932]

He also designed Modern Playcraft: A Book of Things to Make and How to Make Them, a pack of 72 printed sheets of simple toys to cut out and make, with an instruction booklet included.

In 1938 his father died, aged 75:

A Belfast Pioneer of the Cinematograph

    The death at an advanced age is announced from Chelsea, London, of Mr. John Walker Hicks, who was formerly known in Belfast as the proprietor of the Shaftesbury Hotel, College Square North, before it was taken over for conversion into a mission hall for the adult deaf and dumb, and as one of the pioneers in Ireland of the cinematograph. During Mr. Hicks's management the hotel was the headquarters of the Belfast Kit Kat Club, wich preceded the Ulster Arts Club, and it was a favourite meeting place of dramatic and operatic "stars" visiting the city.
    Mr. Hicks early foresaw the possibilities of "moving pictures" or (as the invention of the time was called) the bioscope. He was a pioneer in that form of entertainment, and toured Ireland giving exhibitions. His photographic work, too, was featured at international exhibitions.
    Mr. Hicks is survived by his sons, Mr. Cyril Hicks, who is in business in London, and Mr. Victor Hicks, the cartoonist and artist, and by a daughter, Miss Olga Hicks, the actress and vocalist, who scored successes in the "Belle of New York" and other musical comedies.
[The Bioscope 12 February 1938]

Cyril's business was theatrical production, and if he inherited any money from his father it might have helped fund the following production:


    On Monday, Sept. 14, 1942, at the New Royal, Norwich, Bernard Delfont presented for the first time Cyril Hick's musical extravaganza, entitled "Moscow Belle."
Presumptively the title, which also serves as the name of a scene with a Russian setting, is justified by the inclusion in the cast of Tamara Desni, described in the programme as a "Moscow belle"; but in actual fact the show consists of an unconnected series of dance scenes and short sketches in the approved style for a modern touring revue. The decor for the production numbers has obviously received careful attention, and some of the backcloths are stylish and colourful. Victor Hicks has designed both scenery and effects; and Stefan Craig, who conducts the orchestra, has been responsible for the musical arrangements.
[The Stage 17 September 1942]

This show was subsequently retitled Grand Goings On. In September 1943 a revue called Sky Larks opened at the Finsbury Park Empire, presented by S H Newsome "by arrangement with Cyril Hicks" and with décor and costumes by Victor Hicks.

During World War II Victor Hicks was also kept busy designing posters for the Ministry of Labour, using cartoon imagery and simple slogans to discourage absenteeism and promote better working practises in factories.

Victor Hicks died on 23 September 1946 in St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, aged 53:

Death of Victor Hicks
    It is with regret we record the death of the well-known cartoonist, Victor Hicks, who died on Monday night from pneumonia. Mr. Hicks was for many years cartoonist to this paper, and he was also widely known for his work in connection with theatrical publicity. His drawings had individuality as well as a subtle humour all their own. He founded with his brother, Cyril, the Chelsea School of Commercial Art for the benefit of ex-servicemen. The funeral will be on Friday, at 3.30 p.m., at the Garden of Rest, Hendon Park Cemetery.
[The Stage, 26 September 1946]

The Chelsea School of Commercial Art, located at 50 Glebe Place, SW3, offered courses on Poster Design; Lettering; Layout; Illustration; Fashion; Textile Design; and Interior Design. A 1947 advertisement reads: "Prospectus of Morning, Afternoon and Evening Classes in all Branches of Commercial Art willingly sent on application to the Secretary of the School." It closed down in the 1950s.


Twice Nightly(Kine Komedy Kartoons, 1918) Designer, Animator
A Geni and a Genius No. 1(Lionel Phillips, 1919) Designer, Animator
A Geni and a Genius No. 2(Lionel Phillips, 1919) Designer, Animator
Spick & Span (In the "Island of Apes"?)(The Booking Offices, 1919?) Designer, Animator
Spick & Span (Down in Dixie?)(The Booking Offices, 1919?) Designer, Animator
Spick & Span (They visit a Sea-Serpent?)(The Booking Offices, 1919?) Designer, Animator

Links to Other Sites

BFI Player - A Geni and a Genius No. 1: video of a rather dark, tinted print of the first of Victor Hicks' films for Lionel Phillips, released 13 1919.

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Peter Hale
Last updated 2021