It's been a week since the ACA's 28th Annual Stanley Awards, and I've hit the ground running with work leading up to Christmas. I was hoping to do a full rundown of the weekend, but I just don't think I'll have time this year. Yes, beards were in at the Stanleys. I had cut mine down to a less-trendy goatee, but was still pulled into the the 'beardoes' shot. Photo © David Blumenstein 2012.
So, in brief: Alex Stitt ('Life Be In It', and too many Australian classics to name) and Sam Viviano (MAD Magazine) were the special guests, and gave really interesting presentations (Jason Chatfield, Chris Wahl, Luke Watson, Elise Martinson to name a few). I was lucky enough to be on the MAD panel with Sam, Aussie MAD editor DJ Williams, and Glen Le Lievre. We ran out of time, so there wasn't much panel discussion at the end of Sam's very entertaining history of MAD. This is probably a good thing, as I wasn't feeling very well at all.
Yep, my favourite weekend of the year was marred by a stomach bug. I don't want your sympathy (actually, yes. Yes, I do...) but it came on strong on Friday and beat me around till Sunday. Good timing, virus. Thank you. Just when I was looking forward to getting drunk with my mates on Australian cartooning's night of nights.
So I did miss a few conference events, as I needed to collapse in the hotel room and gather my energy for events. Luckily, I managed to drag myself to the Timelines exhibition at Newcastle Library. That was a very fun affair that ended with us all drawing on the walls and then heading to a swanky bar on the water for dinner and more drinks.
The Awards Dinner on Saturday night was a lot of fun - good chats and the band rocked. I tried to show my body who was boss by imbibing as much beer as I could bear. This turned out to be a lot less than I thought I could, and I had to forgo the usual after-party shenanigans and retire early (hey, 1.30am is early at these things!). I'm sorry, cartoonists. I'll do better next year, I promise!
Oh, and I was very honoured to have been awarded the Stanley for 'Illustrator 2012'. I was woefully unprepared and delivered one of my patent terrible speeches. But when Dave Follett won the 'Comic Strip Artist' gong, I read out his 'just in case' speech he had sent. It was the first time I've heard a crowd laugh while I spoke - I'm usually hearing silence, crickets, and the odd cough.
Congrats to Dave, Gary Clarke, Dean Alston and the big winner on the night, David Pope, who received three awards including the big one; Cartoonist of the Year. Very well deserved. (Full list of winners and nominees here: cartoonists.org.au/awards)
After the Stanleys weekend, a few of us showed Mr Viviano around Sydney for a few days. Lindsay Foyle walked him to exhaustion, so Jason Chatfield, Glen Le Lievre and I helped him shovel Yum Cha in Chinatown before rehydration at the People Magazine offices and then off to King Street Wharf and the Opera House the next day for a cartoonists' lunch with a bunch of guys and gals. Fun times!
Thanks for looking!