Gillam Victor

United States

Cartoonist, illustrator

American cartoonist, brother of Bernard Gillam, presumably his close contemporary. As Bernard Gillam was graduating from the black-and-white New York Graphic to the colored Puck in 1883, his brother Victor was assuming major cartooning duties on Puck’s Republican rival, Judge. Until Bernard’s death in 1896, the public was largely in ignorance of their family relationship – even when Bernard switched to Judge in 1885; for Victor signed his cartoons “F. Victor” until he was the only cartooning Gillam.

Victor Gillam style was, like his brother’s, a bit harsh, with slashing lines instead of the smoother contours of, say, Grant Hamilton or the later Zim. Practically all his work was done on stone in color. As an idea man, in terms of partisanship and biting advocacy, he was easily the equal and perhaps the superior of his brother. He mercilessly attacked Grover Cleveland and even William McKinley in supporting his own favorite Republicans; he was at the cutting edge of the “Full Dinner Pail” campaign of 1896 and accused perennial Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan of everything from nihilism to vagrancy and lunacy.

Victor Gillam left Judge after the turn of the century, in the latter part of the first decade, and was reported to be drawing in Colorado. His later activities included work in the advertising field, where he croated and painted the “His Master’s Voice” image for Victor records and record players.

He died in 1920.

The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons 1981

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