The revolution in political cartoons and the early Australian

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In the 1960s, Australian political cartoons were transformed by three events: The arrival of Les Tanner at The Bulletin after Donald Horne was put in charge by Frank Packer; the radically new style and content of Bruce Petty's cartoons during The Australian's first decade; and the later development of a stable of cartoonists at The Age. In this period, the now common assumption that cartoonists are 'always left-wing' came into being - An obvious irony given the career arcs of proprietors like Packer and Rupert Murdoch. This article focuses on the middle part of this narrative, the impact of Bruce Petty's visually and politically radical cartooning for The Australian from day one. In what ways does Petty's work incarnate the anti-establishment 'ethos' of the young newspaper? What were the visual and political consequences for other broadsheets? How did this 'left-wing' impetus end at The Australian and live on in other papers?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-67
Number of pages12
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number157
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


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