The absurd side of pandemic life and a rugby obsessed penguin have inspired the winning entries in the inaugural Kids News Cartoon Contest.
Budding cartoonists Mia Lai, 10, Sridhana Govindan, 11, and Zoe Neal, 13, packed powerful messages and fun into their drawings, impressing the expert judging panel of News Corp Australia cartoonists.
Mia, from the Sydney suburb of Epping, was the unanimous winner in the Year 3-4 group with her cartoon about an adelie penguin that made headlines when it swam 3000km from Antarctica to New Zealand.
“I thought it would be funny to think of all the things he could be doing in New Zealand,” said the Barker College Year 4 student who wants to be a book illustrator when she grows up.
“I thought it would be funny to think of all the things he could be doing in New Zealand,” the Barker College Year 4 student said.
“I was going to make him go there for fish and chips but I thought it would be funnier if he was at the football because the All Blacks are very popular.
“I Googled and found out there was a match with France about the time when he was there.”
Sridhana, from the Ipswich suburb of Springfield in Queensland, used fire as a metaphor to describe the spread of Covid-19 to take the honours in the Year 5-6 group.
“My cartoon is about how the anti-vax people act towards the vaccine when they are in danger,” Sridhana said. “Covid spreads quickly, as does fire.”
The Springfield Central State School Year 6 student’s cartoon shows celebrity anti-vaxxer Alicia Silverstone turning away a fire truck and firefighter from her burning house as the Covid flames take hold.
Year 7-8 category winner Zoe, from the Melbourne suburb of Diamond Creek, also zeroed in on Covid with her cartoon titled Travelling During the Pandemic.
Zoe said her cartoon pointed out that while people were unable to do much travelling during the pandemic, the virus and its variants were happily making their way around the world.
“Packed in their bags are a whole lot of restrictions and rules they take with them
everywhere they go,” said the Year 7 student from Catholic Ladies’ College.
Zoe, who loves to draw and hopes for a career in animation, was she was “very surprised and very happy” to be a winner in the inaugural Kids News Cartoon Contest.
News Corp Australia’s big-name cartoonists – Mark Knight from Victoria’s Herald Sun, Warren Brown from The Daily Telegraph in NSW, Brett Lethbridge from The Courier-Mail in Queensland and Peter Broelman from South Australia’s The Advertiser – picked the winners from more than 200 entries.
The winners will receive a caricature of themselves drawn by one of the expert cartoonists.
As well as choosing the winners, the cartoonists recognised a runner up and third place in each category.
THE WINNERS ARE:
First: Mia Lai, Barker College, NSW
From the judges: I liked the way Mia combined two issues; the long distance swim by the penguin and the rugby match in New Zealand into the one cartoon. Her characters are well drawn, the cartoon is illustrative and the penguin especially funny as it barracks at the rugby game. I was also impressed that Mia drew the cartoon using Procreate, a digital drawing program.
Second: Sadie Leigh-Young, Darlington Public School, NSW
From the judges: A powerful piece of political cartoon commentary by Sadie on the similarity between the major political parties, and a hilarious punchline to boot! Drawn in a wonderfully simple style that doesn’t get in the way of the idea!
Third: Sophie Monaghan, St Michael’s Primary School, Victoria
From the judges:This cheeky cartoon highlights that cows aren’t innocent after all!
First: Sridhana Govindan, Springfield Central State School, Queensland
From the judges:An excellent cartoon with a complex but well delivered message. Lovely composition, clear, clean drawing style, exceptionally neat with great use of colour. Lovely detail such as the fire truck. Using a celebrity such as Alicia Silverstone gave the cartoon extra punch. A beautifully executed cartoon with powerful opinion.
Second: Darcy Tait, Nambucca Heads Public School, NSW
From the judges:A great visual political cartoon sums up the US election result so beautifully. Darcy’s style and caricature is bang on, his Trump a classic caricature, complete with Trump’s fake tan orange glow. Very funny!
Third: Madison Riquieme, Plenty Parklands Primary School, Victoria
From the judges:Madison created a series of excellent, standout cartoons of local and international political figures all of whom are depicted in hilarious – and accurate – caricature form. From Gladys Berejiklian to Donald Trump, Madison clearly has an interest in news events and a marvellous sense of humour to go with it!
First: Zoe Neal, Catholic Ladies’ College, Victoria
From the judges: Beautifully drawn, exceptional characters such as the flight attendant – and of course the Covid family. Great composition made it pleasing to the eye and there’s a lovely use of shadows. The airline name adds extra humour. A serious subject rated with marvellous humour.
Second: Jack Garoni, Saint Mary’s Sale, Victoria
From the judges: This cartoon makes you laugh. Jack takes the experience of the global upheaval that has been Covid over the last two years and asks us what have we actually learned? The letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha, beta, gamma and of course delta. I also like how the person in the cartoon is unseen. Their anonymity suggests the person in the chair represents all of us. Comic genius!
Third: Nikos Stratikopoulos, Endeavour Sports High School, NSW
From the judges: Nikos’ cartoon puts the reader in a position where they feel like they are in there helping hold the hose of the brave country firefighter. Intense colours and great perspective create tension. The addition of the native animals in the background reminds us that our fauna lose their homes in bush fires too.