1929: Karl Holtz
This week I'm thinking about the design-heavy work of socialist German cartoonist Karl Holtz.
His first cartoons were published in 1916, and his last cartoons were published in 1949, but I'm most interested in the Weimar era of 1919-1933, when his primary outlets were the left-wing satirical magazines Lachen Links and Der Wahre Jacob. Even at that, I've collected over 700 separate cartoons from both magazines, so the following can only be a small selection from an immense body of work: twelve full-page color cartoons from Der Wahre Jacob, 1927-1929.
I'm translating the titles and captions for once (and linking out to provide context), not because they're particularly funny at this historical remove or because they do anything to enhance the beauty and joy of Holtz's image-making, which stands quite well on its own, but merely as a gesture of political solidarity. After the Nazis came to power, leftists like Holtz were not permitted to engage in satirical cartooning and he had to move into commercial illustration; after World War II, he returned to cartooning in East Berlin as a committed socialist, but after caricaturing Stalin in 1949 he was sent to prison, after which he was again banned from satirical cartooning, so that his only creative outlet until his death in 1978 was the (excellent) social-realist paintings of street scenes which come up when you Google his name.