Ahh! It is somewhat refreshing to return to my computer after a holiday! Carlene and I had planned on driving to Canberra (for the Australian Cartoonists' Association's annual Stanley Awards and Conference) in our motorhome, only for the starter motor to not click over just before we had to set off! So, last minute changes were put in place, and we set off in our vehicle -- with our dogs Max and Moo -- for a tour of some of the country's dog-friendly destinations. We ended up travelling many highways and byways and even caught up with daughter Lora and her family in Bendigo, Victoria.
Anyway, because this is a comic-related site, I'm not going to give you details of our travels, nor of our adventures travelling to and from Bendigo (interesting as they may be to some), and focus on the Stanley Awards instead. Here were the recipients of this year's Awards, held in Old Parliament House on Saturday night, 17th November 2018....
The big one! The Cartoonist of the Year was awarded to David Rowe. Other finalists (announced before the event) were: Gary Clark, Christopher Downes, Mark Knight, Glen Le Lievre, Peter Player, David Pope and Cathy Wilcox.
Animation Award went to Matt Bissett-Johnson.
Buddy Ross was so chuffed to win his first Stanley. He was the proud recipient of the Book Illustrator Award.
Australia has a wonderful talent pool of Caricaturists, so it's a tough gig working in the area. Paul Harvey was this year's recipient, and the first time he has been so honoured. It was well-deserved! As is the tradition in the Australian Cartoonists' Association, the person who scores this Award has to illustrate the Cartoonist of the Year for the next issue of Inkspot. Paul finished his task before Carlene and I had arrived home: record time!
It's rare -- so rare, in fact, I cannot recall it ever happening! -- for a category to end a tie! But this year, honours were shared in the Comic Book Award Category between Roger Fletcher and Stuart Hipwell (picture here with his proud partner Megan). I won't comment on Roger's win - except to say that it was the first time in many years that he was not in attendance at the Stanley Awards. He was missed, especially by the Band!
For many years, the Comic Strip Award has been a two-way context between Gary Clark and Tony Lopes. Between them they have won twenty-three times. So it was a welcome surprise for Peter Player to be honoured this year! Later in the evening, Peter was also the recipient of the Single Gag Cartoon Award. Here is a picture of him proudly nursing his two achievements!
Mark Knight and I had a long discussion before the festivities began. Mark has been the recipient of the Editorial and Political Cartoonist Award in the past (five times previously), but I don't think he has had to endure a year quite like this. These Awards are not decided on a single cartoon, but on a body of a year's work, and so I feel that Mark's Award this year was for his talent and output, and not on the single cartooning controversy that engulfed his world. I will go on record as saying that I feel Mark's Award was well-deserved.
You wouldn't believe it! At the Award Ceremony, I was sitting next to Anton Emdin, the recipient of this year's Illustrator Award. But, you know what? I didn't take a solo photograph of him! Who knows why! Still, here's a great one of him celebrating with Peter Player a little later in the evening. (Notice who is holding who's Awards!)
The cartoonists entering the Hall of Fame this year were: the well-and-truly-alive Alan Moir, the late George Sprod (accepted by his niece in a warm speech) and Syd Miller. Despite my being in touch with Syd's daughter Robin in the 1980s, it seems that no living relative was able to be found....
Margaret Cameron, Manager of the National Cartoon Gallery (formerly the Bunker in Coffs Harbour) was proud and surprised to accept the Jim Russell Award, for the Gallery's continuing contribution to Australian Cartooning.
I could perhaps talk here of other things, like the Conference (where Justin Wedd and I presented a Sunday segment on Bold Ben Hall), or the AGM (where I was nominated for President, Deputy President and Committee Member), or I could simply let these pictures tell other stories.... I chose the latter....
...acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to elders past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all First Australian peoples.
Over the past decade (2011 - 2020) Nat has self-published ten comic-related books and was Publisher-Editor of Oi Oi Oi! - the last nationally-distributed comic book of original comics stories to appear on Australian newsstands. He edited Inkspot, the journal of the Australian Cartoonists Association for 14 issues from late 2015 to 2019 and is a current member of the ACA's Committee. In his spare time, he is a husband, a father (to six) and grandfather (to fourteen), and works in the Psychiatric Emergency Centre in Queensland's largest public hospital.
Comicoz is Nat Karmichael's publishing imprint. Nat is committed to preserving a permanent collection of Australian comic and comic strips. He feels that there is a need to recognise comics' contribution to and depiction of Australian culture.