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Stan Roach   February 9, 2013

The Art of Stan Roach

This virtual exhibition offers a tiny glimpse into the epic career of award winning cartoonist Stan Roach. Enjoy putting names to the faces of these remarkable drawn and sculpted caricatures, and take a look at how Stan is able to evoke body language and facial expression to add to the meaning and hilarity of each piece! 

For over fifty years, Stan’s visions of the human form through witty caricatures and political satire have appeared in countless publications.  They are viewed here through the lens of the 2012-2013 S.P.A.C.E. theme: The Human Body.  This theme has galvanized much creativity and dialogue during Dawson College’s 2012-2013 academic year in the form of presentations, events and exhibits.  This virtual exhibit is coupled with a presentation by Stan given on Monday February 11, 2013 at noon in the Dawson College Theatre, situated at 2000 Atwater.  You can also see some photos from this event at the following link:


In 2012 Stan retired from teaching after thirty years in the Department of Illustration & Design, and received a teaching excellence award from the Director General of Dawson College.  A small selection of his hilarious and often provocative artwork appears here (click on “enter the exhibit”), and further information on Stan appears below.  Please create a login name for yourself and leave comments on the virtual exhibition, and if you attended Stan’s Feb. 11, 2013, presentation and caricature drawing demonstration, please comment here as well.  Particularly notefworthy is Stan’s masterful ability to represent facial expression and body language satirically in order to convey meaning.  Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Of late, Stan has been exploring caricature “in the round”.  He calls the new 3-D painted clay sculptures his “children”.  Some of these pieces are painted with a variety of colors, while others are treated in monochrome.

Many thanks to those who made this exhibition possilbe:  Barbara Freedman and Tina Romeo from the Office of Instructional Development, the S.P.A.C.E. team (Joel Trudeau, Jiri Tucker, Andrew Katz and Frank Mulvey), Jeremy Pilote-Byrne (scanning) and Alex Kasyan (photos of Stan and his sculptures).

Short Biography on Stan Roach

Born in New Waterford, Cape Breton, Stan Roach studied at Mount Carmel School. There, the Sisters of Charity encouraged his love of drawing by arming him with coloured chalk and sending him from one classroom to the next to draw on the blackboards.

Stan began his career with the Cape Breton Post in the early 1950’s, where he drew editorial and sports cartoons at the age of 15, as well as working in the engraving department. After a few years, Stan hungered for a formal art training, so he packed his bags for Toronto and studied at the Ontario College of Art. Following his studies, he worked as a freelance illustrator for a range of publications, including the Globe and Mail, the Hamilton Spectator and the Toronto Star.

In the 1960s Stan moved to Montreal and worked freelance for the Montreal Gazette and as an art director for Zellers. His editorial cartoons have found their way into the pages of the Montreal Star, The Sunday Express, La Tribune, The Chronicle (West Island, East End, and Hudson), The Monitor, and a host of Canadian and European magazines.

In 1981, Stan joined the Illustration & Design Faculty at Dawson College. For three decades, Stan brought his love of drawing, his passion for illustration, his technical expertise, and his oddball sense of humour into the classroom for younger generations of artists to experience.
Stan Roach has been recognized for outstanding editorial cartoon work with numerous prizes and awards. At Expo 67 he won an International Caricature Award. In 1978 Stan won first prize at the Ile Notre-Dame humour pavilion for his caricature work. In 1997, he received the QNCA Newspaper Award for best editorial cartoon. On a national level, Stan has been honoured with the Hanover Post Trophy Award, and perhaps the most prestigious of all: the 1999 Duncan MacPherson Award.

Stan’s editorial cartoons poke fun at a range of political figures, policies, and personalities from the municipal, provincial, federal, and international arenas. Throughout his career, he has always responded passionately, and often irreverently, to the issues of the day.
Some politicians have enjoyed Stan’s comical interpretations of them, even requesting from him the original drawings in order to bless their office walls. Others have not been particularly pleased. In the National Assembly in Quebec City, Claude Laurin denounced a representation of himself as a bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol. His remarks were aired on CBC television. It was around the time when the analgesic had been pulled from the shelves after deaths resulting from tampering with the capsules. Laurin was quoted as saying that he “can’t accept this kind of expression of ideas. After all, we can discuss ideas in a very rational and civilized way.” Stan’s reaction was that it was “a good feeling to know we’re going beyond the Anglophone readership (of the Sunday Express)”, and that he was glad that Laurin was “looking and reading. I hope he takes it with a sense of humour.”

Stan has been asked why he lambastes certain politicians. His reply: “I normally don’t do it to comment on the sacred cows themselves, but on what they represent”. It is the policies and actions of political figures that Stan targets, not the individuals.
To spark ideas for his work, Stan reads many newspaper and magazine articles, and listens to call-in radio programs. He is most proud of the work that he does for weekly publications. He explains that drawing cartoons for weekly newspapers is more difficult than contributing to a daily publication. The artwork has to be submitted on a Friday in order to go into print the following Tuesday, and the subject has to remain interesting and relevant for a week or more. The challenge of daily publications is that they require him to be consistently quick-witted and inventive.

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  • Frank Mulvey

    Frank Mulvey

    February 13, 2013

    A big thanks to Stan Roach for presenting your humorous take on the human body through your artwork.  With images of former prime ministers and premiers, we saw the political history of Canada and Quebec through your clever editorial illustrations and caricatures.  The drawing demonstration was great to see up on the big screen in the Dawson Theatre.  It was fascinating to see you draw with such a lively and unerring approach to line, using a simple piece of graphite slab. Great things can be done with such simple means.  Bravo, Stan!

  • Kaitlin Annett

    Kaitlin Annett

    February 23, 2013

    An incredible experience to hear from Stan Roach himself about what it is to go through an entire life of being an illustrator, political cartoonist, and an amazing artist over-all. As an Illustration student, it was inspiring to hear his stories and see the techniques he’s used and developed to make his own distinct and really fun style. Had an awesome time, thanks to Frank and Stan for the experience!

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