During the actual conference, Jozef and I sat near a cultured elderly man with a white mop of hair. We offered up our seats to who we thought was his wife, but she declined. Later on we found out that this gentleman was no other than Mr Squiggle creator and former Bulletin cartoonist 88-year old Norman Hetherington, who was awarded the Jim Russell Award for outstanding contribution to Australian cartooning. Mr Hetherington was met with a standing ovation during his speech.
We also had an opportunity to have a chat with MAD Magazine caricaturist Tom Richmond. I told him a story of my travels through the USA during the late 70s when I was a kid. My family had gone on an overseas trip for six months and we had finished our US leg in New York City. I was buying gifts for all my school class mates and I bought up ten MAD books for the boys. Needless to say, my love affair with MAD began at that moment – I loved the books so much I kept them and indeed still have them. There's nothing like the film parodies or Spy vs Spy to keep you laughing. When Jozef and I had the good fortune to be given a tour of the DC offices after the 2007 New York ComicCon, the bit I loved seeing the most and which brought back the nicest memories was the MAD offices.
During the Stanley Award presentation, our FaceBook friend and now real-life friend Jules Faber announced the first inductees into the Hall of Fame. These honourees were Ginger Meggs creator, Jim Bancks, Stan Cross, Will Dyson, Percy Leason, Norman Lindsay and Pulitzer Prize winning Australian political cartoonist Pat Oliphant.
It was a fabulous night and we thank Jules Faber for helping make it happen.
For more information about the Australian Cartoonists' Association check out their website.