2018 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

See also:


Judging Process

Gold, Silver and Bronze Ledgers will be presented for outstanding comics work published in the calendar year January 1 to December 31, 2017.

Judged by a panel of experts listed above, the awards are open to any individual comics/sequential art projects, print and/or digital/web, that are produced (all or in part) by an Australian creator (who identifies as Australian or lives in Australia), or publishers whose main business operations are based in Australia.

The Ledger Awards are not a popularity vote, with the judges being asked to consider each project on its own merits in creativity, craft and execution.

Judging Method

1. A “Long List” of works produced across the calendar year will be developed and made available on the Ledgers’ web site. Projects will also be added to the list via a “Call for Entries”.
2. The Judging Panel will assess the “Long List” and each judge will develop a “Short List” of work they believe to be outstanding and worthy of the highest Ledger award: The Gold Ledger.
3. Judges will meet (either in person or online) to discuss the merits of each others Short Lists.
4. Judges each finalise their Short Lists and submit their selections to the Organising Committee.
5. The Committee compare all short lists to arrive at Gold, Silver and Bronze Ledger recipients in a second round of voting.

Gold Ledger: awarded when the same project appears on 5 or more judges’ final Short Lists.
Silver Ledger: awarded when appearing on only 4 final Short Lists.
Bronze Ledger: awarded when appearing on only 3 final Short Lists.

In the rare case where a judge has work in the calendar year that is Short Listed, then that judge cannot vote on the work in question. A Ledger Awards patron will step in to vote on that particular work. The Ledger Awards patrons are Christie Marx and Gary Chaloner.