CAUSING a stir is nothing new for long-time Western Advocate cartoonist Paul Smith.
“Smithy” has been drawing laughs from the local community for more than 40 years with his regular offering in the Saturday edition of the newspaper.
However, his offering last weekend did not impress everyone, with some readers writing letters to the editor expressing their concerns.
The topic of the cartoon in question related to the proposal for a co-naming of Mount Panorama to include the Aboriginal name of “Wahluu”.
It included dark skies and lightning over the Mountain with a bulldozer removing the Mount Panorama sign and a worker getting ready to put the Wahluu title in its place.
The caption attributed to the worker stated: “I bet that’s Brocky turning in his grave!” – a reference to the thunder and lightning above the iconic circuit.
“Smithy” said yesterday that criticism for a cartoonist has to be like water off a duck’s back.
“I don’t apologise for the cartoon,” he said. “It’s my opinion and you can’t please everyone all of the time.
“Cartooning is all about creating discussion and debate and I suppose that cartoon achieved that.
“The trouble these days is there is so much political correctness about. It’s gone crazy in Australia. It seems people aren’t allowed to have an opinion about anything anymore.”
“Smithy” said that recent cartoons that caused a stir related to former Prime Minister Julie Gillard and the boat people.
“I recall upsetting a milkman once, but that was a very long time ago. I remember because the bloke wanted to punch me out.
“I’ve been doing cartoons for the Western Advocate for more than 40 years. That’s 52 each year, so what’s that make – more than 2000 I think.
“That’s a lot of cartoons to write. Most of the time people just laugh it off if they aren’t impressed.
“I am happy to cop the criticism and hope all the newspaper’s readers get this Saturday’s Advocate to see what I’ve been up to.
“A tip is that it could relate to fast food giant KFC opening the doors of its Bathurst store on Saturday so people can see what’s going on behind the scenes.”
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