Political cartoons by David Pope. Click for more photos

David Pope: The year that was

Political cartoons by David Pope. Photo: Supplied

Whether it was America’s spy culture or Canberra’s gay marriage push, the rollercoaster of the election or the horrors of environmental depredation, our cartoonist David Pope had a deftly-drawn, witty comment on the news this year. Here he picks his favourite cartoons of 2013. 

Pope on Gillard v Rudd

"I wasn’t particularly interested in the struggle between Gillard and Rudd as some sort of battle of personal ambitions. I was interested in what it reflected about what the Labor party now stood for, given the shrinking social base of its traditional powerbrokers. Rudd floated free, appealing to the people directly, over the party’s heads. But balloons, while good for scanning the horizon, seem not so good for heavy lifting. Gillard was more grounded, but also, more tethered."

Pope on Skywhale

"Canberra’s Centenary provided cartoonists with an opportunity to critically explore the vision of the Federation’s founders and the Canberra’s role in the life of modern Australia ... just kidding. SKYWHALE! Talk about a visual metaphor par excellence. Nothing in this Centenary year carried me with as much serenity and grace to daily deadlines about teat-sucking rent-seekers, hot-air-filled media personalities and political Captain Ahabs."

Pope on Abbott government

"A new government means retiring some caricatures that you were just starting to get the hang of and starting over. Obviously, it is much harder for cartoonists this time round as the adults are back in charge now and their skilful policy management has pushed politics off the front page – oh dear. If the next 900 days offer up anything like first 100, my head will probably explode. 2014 will be a magnificent year for cartoonists. The nation should be worried."