It’s a tradition. For 50 years, Israeli children (and adults) have been having scratching their heads on a weekly basis, trying to solve the cartoon puzzler by Jacky. Joshua “Jacky” Jackson is a cartoonist best known for his hidden pictures where readers are asked to find a particular object camouflaged within the main image.

More often than not, the hidden item is a face, as in this illustration (answer at the bottom of the page).

This week, the 13th Animix Festival, taking place August 9-13, 2013, at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, will be honoring Jacky for a lifetime of achievement.

Born in Jerusalem to a Czech mother and Irish father, Jacky got his start in the graphic arts working at the Jewish National Fund / Keren Kayemet LeIsrael graphics department before being drafted into the Israel Defense Forces Nahal unit in 1955.

He was quickly inducted into the IDF newspaper “BaMahaneh” where he served as graphic editor, and was also the main artist for the Nahal entertainment troupe where he was in charge of set and event decoration. After demobilization, Jacky continued to contribute artistic services as his reserve duty. He got his start at newspaper Yediot Aharonot after winning a competition in 1957 and joined the staff as an illustrator in 1958.

But his true calling and claim to fame in Israeli popular culture is the “Weekly Picture for Children” which started as a temporary feature in 1963 and is still going strong five decades later – including a digital version and, as of last year, an iPhone/iPad app called Jacky Where Is It?, an original game with an innovative gameplay, story, art and design.

The Animix festival program includes international guests like Danish animator Morton Thorning, workshops with Emmy award-winning director Ken Kimmelman, digital compositing / post-production expert Alain Escalle, as well as outstanding Israelis participants like claymation animator Rony Oren, Yaakov “Dry Bones” Kirschen, who will present his Passover Haggadah project, comic book artist Shai Cherka, who has adapted S.I. Agnon’s work to the comic books format, a short film by Goran Dukic based on a Etgar Keret story as well as Braintoons – The Caricature of the Brain, a special program produced in cooperation with The Hebrew University Center for Brain Research.

Keep up with Jacky by joining his Facebook page. And here’s that hidden face:

Illustrations courtesy of Wikipedia. Screenshots: Jacky Where Is it?