The news that Colin Wicking, the NT News/Sunday Territorian cartoonist for the past forty years, is farewelling the job he has done so brilliantly for so long, filled me with sadness and nostalgia.
Wicking’s perspective on the Territory and those within has long taken us ‘behind the curtain of pretence and facade’. Through his simple yet telling illustrations, he has characterised the territory, warts and all, to readers of our papers.
Many who peruse the print and online editions of our papers will attest to Wicking’s view being one of the first, best and most sought after check of the pages each morning.
A black-and-white specialist, Wicking only drew two cartoons which included colour. The first commemorated the rainbow crossing at the Smith and Knucky Street junction in the CBD. The second depicted Michael Gunner sitting behind his purpled ‘Boundless Possible’ desk.
There are several of Colin Wicking’s cartoons which will live long in my memory – standouts for me among his vast collection of offerings. One is the recent depiction of our Chief Minister (March 25) sitting and listening to the dogs barking the name of ‘Rolfe’ into the night air.
It is a blessing to our Territory that Wicking has gifted thousands if his works to the NT Libraries and Archives. There they will reside permanently, to be a source of historical remembrance of the events and deeds depicted. As people look through his collection, they need to understand that Wicking’s work portrays the real territory that existed at the time each cartoon was drawn.
Whoever takes over as cartoonist for our local papers will have big shoes to fill.
Thanks Colin, for your rendering of our history through your eyes. Your work has been crafted with honest interpretation and transparency. The legacy you leave in retiring from cartooning our territory will be everlasting.