2018 Judging Panel announced!

The Ledger Awards Organising Committee invited a group of six – drawn from a mix of creators, retailers, publishers, scholars and commentators on Australian comics – to participate in the selection of recipients for this year’s awards.

We are very honoured and proud to announce the 2018 Ledger Awards Judging Panel:

Philip Bentley

Philip is a writer, editor and historian with a long history in Australian comics. A founding partner in the Minotaur comic shop (1977-89) he also co-edited and contributed to two 1980s anthologies Inkspots and Fox Comics. He produced Word Balloons (2006-13), a magazine on Australian comics, wherein he chronicled some of the above events, collecting these writings in A Life in Comics (2013). He continues to have a sporadic career writing comics, most recently published in Going Down Swinging, Tango and Passionate Nomads, a former Ledger recipient. He currently reviews comics for Matt Emery’s Pikitia Press blog.

Mal Briggs

Mal Briggs has been around comics his whole life. He was born the month Superman #300 hit the shelves, and was creating his own superhero comics before he could read. He was a member of The Phantom Club in primary school, and a regular at comic conventions by the time he graduated high school. He created cartoons for Woroni, the ANU student newspaper, and has been a member of The Australian Cartoonists’ Association for his entire adult life (so far.) In 2004 Mal co-founded Impact Comics in Canberra, and in 2014 he created the Impact Comics Festival to showcase indy comics creators to the unsuspecting public of the nation’s capital. Mal is regularly a guest on ABC radio, 2XX Community radio and various podcasts. He’s a panelist at the Australian Comic Arts Festival, and has been a guest lecturer in creative writing at The University of Canberra. This is Mal’s second time on the Ledger’s judging panel.

Julie Ditrich 

Julie is a professional writer / editor and comics creator, as well as a book project management and publishing consultant. She is also the founder and CEO of Comics Mastermind™, a professional development service for Australian comics creators. Julie has a BA in Professional Writing (University of Canberra), and has worked in mainstream publishing as a bookseller, publicist, marketing manager and author. She was also employed as publications manager at the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). Julie has worked extensively as a comic book writer predominantly in the fantasy genre with sales of over 270,000 comics all over the world. She has worked as a manuscript assessor and editor on various short stories and graphic novels for Australian writers and publishers, and presented comics and graphic novels workshops at various writers’ centres, festivals, libraries and pop culture events around Australia. Julie was the co-founder of the ASA Comics / Graphic Novels Portfolio and was the co-portfolio holder between 2007 and 2012. She is currently working on several short prose and comics stories for independent publishers, which will be published in 2018.

Christopher Downes

Christopher lives in Hobart where he has been drawing cartoons for The Mercury since 2010. He never expected that one day he would be a political cartoonist, but he is and he is stupidly happy about it. In 2015, he won the Stanley Award for Best Editorial/Political Cartoonist. He also draws cartoons for the children’s newspaper, Crinkling and has worked on projects with the Museum of Australian Democracy and the podcast, Lore.

Jeremy Macpherson

Jeremy has been published in numerous Australian comics including POP CULTURE & TWO MINUTE NOODLES, KNEE POCKETS, ONION RINGS, THE INK and TANGO along with drawing for various newspapers and magazines. He has been drawing covers for THE PHANTOM for nearly four years, including the front of the first trade paperback publised by Frew – For Those Who Came in Late : The Story So Far.  He is also a Librarian and Comics Historian with the possibly the world’s biggest collection of Panel by Panel books.

Lucas Testro

Lucas Testro is a filmmaker and podcaster. He has written & directed for television (Neighbours; Winners & Losers), theatre (Songs For Europe) and short film (including the superhero comedy Capes and the time travel comedy I’m You, Dickhead). He was a co-host of the former comics podcast Noncanonical, and is currently producer and co-host of the Radioactive Lounge comics podcast, nominated in 2017 for Best Pop Culture Podcast in the first ever Castaway Australian Podcast Awards.  www.manwithajetpack.com