Leunig: An Appreciation

Ian M. Johnstone


Michael Leunig (b.1945) has long been Australia’s best known and most pondered on cartoonist, his rueful thought and reflective wisdom always coming from the heart. He has been well described as cynical and witty, but this image omits the sensitivity, and the love of simple things. Now having produced for us a myriad of his style of drawings, always presented with a faltering line, with a fuller ink wash, he is deservedly recognised for a delightful whimsy, concern for the little, the defenceless and the innocent, but more and more for a satirical probing of Americanisation, the money economy, and the emptiness of all political promises. The sheer mass of his insightful work is amazing, and he is surely to be deemed the finest cartoonist Australia has produced, restoring to the profession the lost, shrewd wisdom, once the core of all graffiti, pavement chalkings, and private doodlings. This is one sane spirit in a world of madmen.



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