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James Kemsley passes at age 59

James Kemsley, cartoonist of Ginger Meggs, and a celebrated Australian cartoonist passed away today at the age of 59. James has been drawing the Ginger Meggs cartoon since 1984. The feature was first published in 1921 and is the most syndicated Australian comic strip. James is a former Australian Cartoonist Association president as well as Australian Black and White Artists Club. In 1990 he was awarded the Jim Russell award for outstanding contribution to Australian cartooning, two Stanleys for Comic Strip Artist (1990 and 2004) and was the recipient of the Golden Stanley for Cartoonist of the Year in 2001.

Jason Chatfield will take over on the Ginger Meggs comic. You can read a nicely worded tribute over on Jason’s site.

Community Comments

#1 Steve McGarry
December/4/2007
@ 9:58 am

Kems was a great champion and ambassador for Australian cartooning, an exceptional leader of the ACA, and one of the warmest and nicest men you could ever hope to meet. He was incredibly generous with his contacts, expertise and inflluence, and helped countless numbers of cartoonists over the years. He led three Aussie expeditions to the Reubens and was a regular at UK festivals, so I know his loss will be felt outside of the Australian cartooning community. A lovely man.

#2 Eric Burke
December/4/2007
@ 4:53 pm

James was always quick to comment on a good selection in my Sunday Funnies Review® thread over at Toon Talk. He was always a positive presence there, even in threads that would often devolve into legacy-strip bashing, where he always took the high road and offered many of us a glimpse into the life of a cartoonist taking over a storied strip. Perspective that served most well. I know I rethought my earlier harsh POV’s on the cartoonists behind such features thanks in part to James’ posts…

…this is sad and surprising news.

#3 Dawn Douglass
December/15/2007
@ 12:38 pm

Wow, how did I miss this post? I’m just now finding out that James died. What horrible news. He was a very nice guy and an accomplished artist. This is a shock. I didn’t know he was sick. Very sad.

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