Hawke, the cartoonist’s dream

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POLITICAL cartoons have a long history in Australia enriched by the luxury of having politicians with great features and personalities for a cartoonist to draw.

Hawkie by Paul Dorin… “You only needed to draw his eyes and eyebrows to recognise who you were drawing.”

Labor’s longest-serving prime minister Bob Hawke featured in thousands of cartoons during his four terms in parliament. A survey of the nation’s cartoonists once revealed Hawke as the most popular Australian prime minister to draw.

Since 1983, when Hawke became prime minister, he has been my all-time favourite character and political figure to draw.

He provided plenty of “inspiration” for material. I loved drawing him; he could be created from a simple line drawing to a detailed caricature. I could draw him with my eyes shut.

Hawkie had great cartooning features, his mouth had this permanent scowl and eyes lay aggressively beneath his eyebrows. You only needed to draw his eyes and eyebrows to recognise who you were drawing. The other distinctive feature was his immaculate silver hair.

One thing that annoyed Liberal politician John Howard was that cartoonists, even me, would draw him as tiny because whenever he stood next to the then-prime minister Malcolm Fraser he looked small by comparison. In later cartoons, Howard hated being depicted as being smaller than Bob Hawke when, in actual fact, Howard was taller than Hawkie.

A joy for cartoonists. RIP Bob Hawke.

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Paul Dorin
Paul Dorin is a highly experienced cartoonist and illustrator with a droll sense of humour and a keen eye for the absurd.

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