This page is respectfully dedicated to:

Michael Leunig 

Cartoonist, artist, poet, philosopher, public champion of gentleness, professional whimsic (?), soul of Melbourne.

Here is just a small sample of Leunig's many creations.

[Cartoons deleted for copyright reasons. Beware all you intemperate scanners out there...].


Leunig is blessed with a gift for poetry:

The People's Treasure.

 They're privatising things we own together. They're flogging off the people's common ground.

 And though we're still connected by the weather They say that sharing things is now unsound.

*

 They're lonelifying all the public spaces. They're rationalising swags and billabongs.

They're awfulising nature's lovely places, Dismantling the dreaming and the songs.

*

 Their macho fear of flabby soft sensations Makes them pine for all things hard and lean.

 They talk of foreign market penetrations And throbbing private sectors. It's obscene.

*

 They're basically unloving types of creatures With demons lurking underneath their beds.

 You'll notice that a necktie always features To keep their hearts quite separate from their heads.

*

 So if they steal away the people's treasure. And bring the jolly swagman to his knees.

 They can't remove the simple common pleasure Of loathing public bastards such as these.


What Did We Get?,

 What did you get on your christmas morn?
On the christmas morn when you were born.
Did you get some milk, did you get some pain,
Did you get some hurt that you can't explain?
Did you get a star from high above?
Did you get the gaze of a mother's love?
The spark that leaps from eye to eye
And twinkles 'til the day you die.

Oh what did we get on our christmas morn
On the christmas morn when we were born?

The poems above are from Michael Leunig, Everyday Devils and Angels (Penguin Books, 1992).

 

 


Public Interventions (Rare but Profound).

(From "The Age" newspaper, Saturday 22/10/1994, p. 7. Background: The Liberal State govt., upon attaining power, and winning the state the dubious honour of hosting a large and noisy car race, decided to build a special track for it in one of Melbourne's oldest parks, Albert Park, which is in a high-density residential area.)

LEUNIG'S CAR PARK WITH A DIFFERENCE

Mr Curly, the character created by the Age cartoonist Michael Leunig, has struck back at the Grand Prix. Instead of putting cars into parks and gardens, Mr Curly has put a garden into a car. Speaking on behalf of Mr Curly, Mr Leunig said yesterday that his creation prefers the hum of bees to the hum of engines. The remodelled 1958 Austin Lancer, complete with a lawn and a palm tree on the roof, is believed to be the first pollen-powered car...

[two delightful photos of a car bursting with foliage accompany the article.]


Trams.

The old wooden tram is a Melbourne icon, and Leunig painted one (all over) before it became fashionable to do so. I would love a photo of this if anyone has one....

AT LAST!! AT LAST!! (See below)


October, 1997:

After almost 2 years of this page being a lone voice, I have been notified by email that there has been a surprising sudden upsurge of Leunig representation in cyberspace. These pages do the list-of-works and where-you-can-buy-thing more thoroughly than mine, so I have removed my feeble efforts in that direction. Here are the links:

STOP PRESS!! January 1999:

At last my dream (fondly-held but barely serious) of acquiring a photograph of the legendary Melbourne tram over-run with whimsical beings of Mr Leunig's creation has come true! The good fairy who appeared suddenly (over the email) and granted my wish goes by the name of Sarah Churchman. She is currently resident in London, but was a onetime visitor to Melbourne, at which time she was struck by the beauty of this extraordinary yet unpretentious member of the working tramways fleet of "The Met", and felt an urge to capture it on film. Fortunately, unlike cartoons, "The Age" does not possess copyright of photos of trams painted by Leunig. Here is a copy of the photo, extra large so that any homesick Melburnians out there can almost imagine stepping onto it and...:  Would that ordinary Melburnians had felt the same admiration for this singular vehicle of public transport as Sarah did! The tram, being of the older wooden variety apparently disdained by the contemporary commuter (the phrase "freezing blasts of cold air" tends to appear in conversations on the subject), seems to have been retired from service.
Where is it now??

Any information would be gratefully received by this site , or by the Webmaster, "Curly Flat" (to whom thanks are due for some "graphics massaging", to help bring viewers of this site the above visual feast).


Last updated: 19 January, 1999.