Luke Skywalker has left the building

Troppo talks to Jon Kudelka about the Prime Minister, weapons of mass destruction, and Star Wars

"I was hoping to get the phrase ‘fully operational death star’ on the front page of the national broadsheet" says cartoonist Jon Kudelka, "There was beer in it." Kudelka has been cartooning for The Australian since 1998 and for The Hobart Mercury since 1993. And he’ll have to wait a little longer for that beer. Only readers of the Mercury got to see the cartoon below. As Kudelka explained, The Australian’s editor "picked another one which didn’t require non GenX types to get
the Star Wars reference."


Troppo readers are a curious bunch so, while I had his attention, I thought I’d ask Jon about a few of the things I’m sure you’ve all been wondering about.

Troppo: If Peter Nicholson was kidnapped by terrorists would the Australian get you to do the big cartoon? Would this be a good thing?

JK: The Australian does not negotiate with terrorists.

Troppo: Last time I checked John Howard wanted to be Han Solo. When did he decide to cross over to the dark side?

JK: A long time ago in a land far far away In a little fibro house with a black picket fence.

Troppo: If John Howard is Vader then who is Luke Skywalker?

JK: Funnily enough, this kept me awake on Thursday night. I’m putting Gough down for Yoda and I choose Nat Stott Despoja for Leia. Tony Abbott is the guy with the red makeup in the first movie and Eric Abetz is definitely Jar Jar Binks. I’m stalling, Mark may well be a false Luke. Hopefully, there is another.

Troppo: Are there really WMDs on Mars?

JK: Please refer this to Donald Rumsfeld. He’s almost certainly from Mars and apparently he knows where all the WMDs are.

Troppo: In hell, what punishment should await editors who reject really funny Kudelka cartoons?

JK: Editors are good people doing a fantastic job under trying circumstances. However, a jalapeno pepper up the clacker would be a good start. I should add here that this cartoon was not technically rejected, the editor actually laughed at a rough that was higher up on the pile of roughs (there were a lot of roughs, I’d had a lot of coffee that day). Some credit should also be given for all the truly shithouse Kudelka cartoons that have been rejected by editors in the past.

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2024 years ago

Cool. One of the best things about Aus is we do have (and have had) the world’s best editorial/political cartoonists – regardless of which political wells they dip their nibs into from time to time.

(Just went to a dinner where Ron Tandberg was the guest speaker/drawer and had Melbourne’s left and right establishment (Hugh Morgan and Sharon Burrows at the same table) roaring with mutual good humour and wincing at unmutually bad moments, instantly penned by Ron and thrown up onto the big screen behind him at the Hyatt Ballroom.)

2024 years ago

A brilliant piece of cartooning.