Comedy of cartoonists coming to Coffs for ceremony

WHAT do you call a mass gathering of cartoonists?

A collection of cartoonists? A comedy of cartoonists? Maybe a gag-gle of cartoonists?

While, it would appear there is not a collective noun to describe a lot of very funny people in one place at one time, you would surely be correct in calling it a fun night.

On Saturday, November 22, when Coffs Harbour hosts around 200 cartoonists attending the Australian Cartoonists Association's annual awards, The Stanleys, will the city be big enough?

Coffs Harbour, not unaccustomed to the sounds of fun and laughter, boasts Australia's only dedicated cartoon gallery and is a fitting host city for the annual Australian cartooning industry's night of nights.

The Stanley Awards, named after cartoonist, Stan Cross, and originally sponsored by The Bulletin, began in November 1985.

The ACA commissioned Eberharde Franke to sculpt a model of the well-known cartoon by Cross, 'For gor'sake stop laughing, this is serious!'

Bronze, silver and gold statuettes were cast from the model.

Cross was a foundation member of the ACA and is today considered one of the greatest exponents of the black and white craft.

The 2008 Awards will be announced at a gala evening in Coffs Harbour and will consist of seven bronze statuettes for: Comic Strip, Editorial/Political, Single Gag, Caricaturist, General Illustrator, Humorous Illustrator and Digital Artist.

The Silver Stanley, now known as the Jim Russell Award, will be awarded to a cartoonist for services to the industry, while the coveted Gold Stanley - the major award - will be presented to the Cartoonist of the Year.

But, why stop at one night when all your mates are around- why not make it a weekend?

Commencing on Friday, November 21, the weekend event kicks off with the Coffs Harbour Bunker Cartoon Gallery's own night of nights, the Annual Rotary Cartoon Awards and follows with The Stanley Awards on Saturday, November 22, at the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort.

Now in their 20th year, the $10,000 Rotary Awards this year have attracted more than 600 entries from 26 countries as well as from Australia's own cartoonists.

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