Larry Pickering was among the most known political cartoonists in Australia who has won four Walkley Awards for his work. He is best known for creating the “Pickering’s Playmates” series of calendars that had naked politicians in the cartoons during the 80s. His calendars were best-selling around that time, appearing on several toilet doors around Australia as an irreverence towards big and small politicians in those years. His best work was popular between 1978 and 1992 when he portrayed politicians in cheeky ways to troll them and also entertain his audience.
Being the most controversial cartoonist in Australia, Larry never held back while printing out cartoons that were racist and Islamophobic. He went on to create controversial content that raised many eyebrows whenever he published a new image. He lampooned big and small political leaders from both sides and projected his own humour in a creatively dark manner.
Pickering lived on the Gold Coast with his wife and two children, among the 11 children that he has. His wealth accumulated from his early rise to popularity for his works. When he was at his prime, he won four Walkleys four years in a row from 1971 to 1974. In 1981, Pickering retired from his role as a cartoonist and disappeared for a while to pursue other careers.
Apart from being a newspaper cartoonist, Larry Pickering took up several other careers, including a racehorse trainer where his team was runner-up in the 1986 Melbourne Cup. He also travelled around Australia and met the locals to understand how they feel about the government. However, this time, he was not projecting it through his work.
In 2010, Pickering was once again in the news as he suffered from an undischarged bankruptcy by his former de facto after losing his money in a betting company. It cost millions to the investors, and they believed it was a big scam. Over 300 people invested in the project and lost all their money. Pickering denied the responsibility for the loss, but the Supreme Court of Queensland believed it was thoroughly implausible for him to be not involved in the scam and concluded that Larry Pickering received “significant financial benefits” from the de facto software distributor in Australia. In 2015, the fraud squad detectives reopened the case, but no action was taken later on.
In 2011, Larry Pickering would return to the media with his new blog “The Pickering Post”, where he once again took the tough road, railing against the Left, minorities, global warming, and the prime minister Julia Gillard. He made sure that he saved his most vicious efforts for Gillard. He was also in the headlines recently for being the guest speaker at an anti-Islamic Q society. There he made Islamophobic remarks that the newer audience did not take very well.
Pickering was suffering from cancer and had most of his lungs removed in 2016. He did not hold back even when he was in the hospital. On 19 November 2018, Pickering dies at the age of 73 from lung cancer.