Guardian poaches cartoonist First Dog on the Moon from Crikey

DogThe Guardian has announced it has poached Crikey cartoonist First Dog on the Moon who will join the newspaper’s Australian digital operation from next month.

The move will see the artist, real name Andrew Marlton, drawing for the Guardian Australia on the national and international issues of the day with his work to appear on the UK and US editions of the Guardian as well as the Australian website.

“First Dog on the Moon gets to the heart of political life in Australia like no one else,” said Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia.

“First Dog makes me laugh and makes me cry. I’m delighted to be able to showcase First Dog’s work to the Guardian’s 90m unique browsers worldwide.”

Marlton became the full time editorial cartoonist for Crikey in 2007 and later won a Walkley Award for the best political cartoon of 2012 for the cartoon ‘Drowning’ and was named the MOAD (Museum of Australian Democracy) cartoonist of the year in 2011.

“This is very exciting. I am very excited. When I was growing up I always wanted to be Steve Bell and work at the Guardian! And this is almost as good… I have a beard and everything now. This really is the greatest day of my life!

“No seriously, to be on the same roster as a cartoonist of Mr Bell’s calibre, to become part of the fabulous team at Guardian Australia is more than I could have ever hoped for as a cartoonist and marsupial enthusiast. This is going to be hilarious.” joked Marlton in a statement.

Crikey’s CEO Marina Go told Mumbrella that they were sad to lose him but that they wished him well. “We wish him well obviously he has been a big part of Crikey since he was plucked from the obscurity of a call centre some years ago,” said Go.

“Back then Andrew was a guy with big dreams of being a cartoonist and Crikey has always prided itself on uncovering talent. Dog is a classic example of that.”

Go said Crikey would now be on the look out for a new cartoonist adding: “We have been aware that this would be happening for some time and we have been talking about different options for some time.

“It does open the door for other young talent to be discovered by Crikey.”

Last week Crikey also announced editor Jason Whittaker would be leaving the post to edit Private Media’s new title aimed at public servants, The Mandarin.

Last month Mumbrella revealed that the Guardian Australia would be opening a new office in Melbourne and hiring both sales and editorial roles.  

Since its launch The Guardian has moved in and out of the Nielsen Online Ratings top 10 with an Australian audience of 1m to 1.3m but has consistently maintained that Nielsen is under representing its growth in audience.

Last year Mumbrella did a video hangout with Marlton. 

Nic Christensen 


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