Low worked extensively for English newspapers and publishers. Originally
a New Zealander he came to Britain after the First World War, and always
maintained a sharp outsider's view of the British political scene. He
worked for the Conservative newspapers but always sustained a radical
stance. He was a marvellous draftsman and was especially successful with
01 detail from a double page cartoon for KEN magazine July 1938
02 detail from a double page cartoon for KEN magazine May 1938
03 JIX was a contraction for the baby faced politician Joyson-Hicks -
this a masterpiece of facial nuance using the conventions of the Photobooth
grid; from David Lowe, Ye Madde Designer , London 1935,p.15. This is
a rich set of observations on the role and technique of the cartoonist.
04 "Revolution at our Turkish bath" was originally published
in July 1936 in the London Evening Standard The most impressive feature
of Low's radicalism was his courage taking on the Powers-that-be even
later during a time of War - when everybody was meant to pull together.
His depiction of an elderly and reactionary Army officer more sympathetic
to Cavalry than tanks materialised as "Colonel Blimp". The figure
was given flesh by the film director Michael Powell in "The Life
and Death of Colonel Blimp" . Low's creation gave rise to a handy
archetypal figure with which to criticise the complacency and snobbery
of the British establishment
05 Low combined an economy of word and concept with a phenomenal drawing
talent. He was capable of the broadest of broadsides at the Prime Minister
of the Day, and a moving spectacle, as here, of the dead coming back to
haunt the defendants of the Nuremburg Trials of Nazi War Criminals, in
a cartoon published on October 1st 1946.
Ye Madde Designer, Baldwin's character reduced as his
central feature achieves supremacy.