The Best Cartoons of 2015: The Stanley Awards

Above: David Pope’s viral cartoon in response to the Charlie Hebdo tragedy.

By Imogen Carfrae

The Australian Cartoonists Association gathered in Melbourne over the weekend to recognise the brightest of their numbers with the Stanley Awards — and lament the loss of cartoonists’ favorite Tony Abbott.

Caption

Cartoonist David Pope branches out from pen work.

The Stanley Awards have been given out since 1985, honouring the artists that manage to put the content of 20 news stories and a few opinion pieces into a much smaller, and funnier, space.

Great minds think alike, and the voters named David Pope as the Cartoonist of the Year with the Gold Stanley, who is also a finalist for two Walkley categories, Cartoon and Artwork. Pope took the social media world by storm with his poignant reaction to the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, as well as producing some masterpieces of the ever-providing Mr Abbott.

Effective commentary: Pope's entry for the Editorial/Political Cartoonist Award.

Effective commentary: Pope’s entry for the Editorial/Political Cartoonist Award.

Also recognised was David Rowe of the Australian Financial Review, winning the Caricaturist award for 2015. Rowe has taken out the title in 10 previous years, and for good reason. He recently released an adult colouring book of his masterful work.

Rowe’s adult colouring book. Courtesy David Rowe, via his Twitter account.

Rowe’s adult colouring book. Courtesy David Rowe, via his Twitter account.

Rowe’s submission for this year’s Caricaturist category. Courtesy of Rowe and the ACA.

Rowe’s submission for this year’s Caricaturist category. Courtesy of Rowe and the ACA.

The Jim Russell Award for significant contribution to Australian cartooning was awarded to Stan Cross’ original cartoon, “For gorsake, stop laughing: this is serious!”

The cartoon, created in 1933, inspired The Stanleys, and its two characters are featured in the Award’s trophies. The cartoon was considered lost for decades but resurfaced late last year in Sydney. It has found a new home in the National Library. This is the first time the award has been given to an inanimate object.

Stan Cross’ iconic cartoon. Courtesy of the ACA.

Stan Cross’ iconic cartoon. Courtesy of the ACA.

The Stanley Awards, in full, are as follows:

CARTOONIST OF THE YEAR (The Gold Stanley), sponsored by the Herald Sun
David Pope, from the Canberra Times. David took the social media world by storm with his poignant reaction to the Charlie Hebdo tragedy.

ANIMATION CARTOONIST, sponsored by The Bunker Cartoon Gallery
Matt Bissett-Johnson

CARICATURIST, sponsored by The Australian
David Rowe, Australian Financial Review

COMIC BOOK ARTIST, sponsored by Supanova
David Follett

COMIC STRIP CARTOONIST, sponsored by the Herald Sun
Gary Clark, Swamp

EDITORIAL/POLITICAL CARTOONIST, sponsored by Media Super
Christopher Downes, Hobart Mercury

ILLUSTRATOR, sponsored by Wacom
Pat Campbell, Canberra Times

SINGE GAG CARTOONIST, sponsored by Copyright Agency
Cathy Wilcox, Sydney Morning Herald

CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATOR, sponsored by the Walkley Foundation
Leigh Hobbs

Three cartoonists were also inducted into the Australian Cartoonists Hall Of Fame:

Emile Mercier (deceased)
Ron Tandberg
Vane Lindsay