Cartoonist Larry Pickering. Photo: Regi Varghese
Cartoonist Larry Pickering. Photo: Regi Varghese

Controversial cartoonist Larry Pickering dead

CONTROVERSIAL Gold Coast-based cartoonist Larry Pickering has died, aged 76, following a long illness.

Mr Pickering died last night surrounded by family after a two-year battle with cancer.

The father of 11 checked himself out of hospital late last week to spend his final days with his family.

Cartoonist Larry Pickering. Photo: Regi Varghese
Cartoonist Larry Pickering. Photo: Regi Varghese

 

The four-time Walkley Award-winner became well-known in the 1970s for his work during the Whitlam and Fraser governments, which was collected into best-selling books.

His work appeared in The Australian, The Canberra Times, The National Times and the Sydney Morning Herald.

He retired from his political work in the early 1980s before making a comeback in 2011 when he took on then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Mr Pickering was a controversial figure. Photo: Regi Varghese
Mr Pickering was a controversial figure. Photo: Regi Varghese


Ms Gillard branded Mr Pickering and his website "vile and sexist".

Despite being a target for his right-wing views, Mr Pickering told the Bulletin in 2016 he would never stop drawing.

Larry Pickering with one of his cartoons.
Larry Pickering with one of his cartoons.

"I wouldn't stop drawing what I want to draw or writing what I want to write," he said. "If you do you are acquiescing."

Australian Cartoonist Association former president Peter Broelman said the Australian industry had lost another giant.

Larry Pickering, pictured speaking at the Reclaim Australia Rally on the Gold Coast. Picture: Luke Marsden.
Larry Pickering, pictured speaking at the Reclaim Australia Rally on the Gold Coast. Picture: Luke Marsden.

"As a kid growing up his profile back in the 80s was just immense,'' Broelman said.

Pickering was never one to shy from controversy, including his work with men's magazine Playboy.

"He had Pickering Playmates which were challenging for a lot of people."

Larry Pickering’s 1970s-era political cartoons were legendary.
Larry Pickering’s 1970s-era political cartoons were legendary.

"I really admired his work as a teenage boy,'' he joked.

His work in his later days were certainly pushing the envelope.

"My fondest memories were back in the 80s,'' Broelman said.

"His early stuff was sensational. He was savage and funny at the same time."

Larry Pickering is being remembered for his sense of humour. Picture Mike Batterham
Larry Pickering is being remembered for his sense of humour. Picture Mike Batterham

"He had a very colourful upbringing and background and that certainly showed with his work."

Pickering's depictions of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Malcolm Fraser were legendary, along with his depictions of John Howard versus Andrew Peacock.

Larry Pickering: 1942-2018
Larry Pickering: 1942-2018

"Politics is a funny beast. His cartoons would be quite suitable today (given the leadership battles)."

Broelman said the deaths of Bill Leak, Ron Tandberg, Geoff Hook and now Larry Pickering had been a huge loss for the industry.



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