Him and Her
Updated: Dec 23, 2022
Him and Her, What Are They Doing? Pepys Party Games
First Published: 1953, Pepys Party Games
Illustrator or Designer: Bil (of London Opinion)
Contents: 12 Cards, 1 Rules Sheet.
Him and Her - Box Top
Him and Her - Rules & Advertisements
Him and Her - Card Front
Him and Her - Card Back
Him and Her - Solutions on back of Rules
The cartoonist "Bil", normally signed his work with a lowercase 'b', as "bil", was WIlhelm (Bil) Spira born in Vienna in 1913 and died in 1999. Spira was Jewish and escaped Austria after its annexation by Germany in 1938. Working in France as bil he drew for the French satirical magazine Le Rire. After the invasion of France he worked as a document forger for the French resistance, betrayed he was imprisoned by the Vichy regime and extradited to Germany in 1942. He spent the rest of the war in various concentration camps including Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Theresienstadt.
After the war Spira returned to France, was honoured as a resistance fighter and worked for Ici Paris and many other magazines, including London Opinion. The Bil Spira Park in Vienna is named after him.
In 2021 The Austrian Cultural Forum New York and Jewish Museum in Vienna held the exhibition Three with a Pen: Lily Renée, Bil Spira, and Paul Peter Porges. All three were Jewish artists driven from their homes in Vienna after the German annexation of Austria, the so-called “Anschluss,”, in 1938. The exhibition website has examples of work by all three artists and includes an interview with Spira in his wonderfully overflowing studio and an earlier clip of him drawing in a cafe .
Nb, the above biographical information has been paraphrased from an automatic translation of Bil Spira's German language Wikipedia page.