WELL DESERVED: Wil Mitchell is recognised for his artistic talent and his historical and humorous commentary on political affairs in the city.
WELL DESERVED: Wil Mitchell is recognised for his artistic talent and his historical and humorous commentary on political affairs in the city. Paige Ashby

Cartoonist reflects on career turning politics into pictures

POLITICAL cartoonist Wil Mitchell has been recognised for his artistic talent and his historical and humorous commentary on political affairs in Ipswich

Mr Mitchell worked as a political cartoonist for 35 years at the QT and the Advertiser.

"I had a great career as political cartoonist, it was an ambition of mine since I was a little boy,” he said.

"It got me into trouble at school; instead of doing school work, I was drawing cartoons and caricatures of teachers and students.

"The hardest part for me as a political cartoonist was coming up with the ideas, coming up with a gag.

"You've got to look at sometimes very serious issues and somehow you've got to find a humorous twist to them.”

Mr Mitchell recalled his time drawing former Ipswich mayor John Nugent.

"I used to be really tough on him. I used to draw him as a country bumpkin with a chook all the time, he'd argue the toss with the chook and in the cartoons the chook would always win the argument.

"I know that's cruel, but he took it in good stead and we're the best of mates now,” he said.

A collage of Wil Mitchell's work
A collage of Wil's artistry.

Not everyone was a fan of Mr Mitchell's drawings.

"The deputy premier of Queensland Bill Gunn started to sue me over a cartoon that he took objection to and member for Ipswich David Hamill went to sue me over a cartoon, but they backed off.

"I upset a lot of people because I had the gall to pick on their favourite politicians and they threatened to dump me. One bloke was going to wait for me in the carpark and actually kill me.”

At a council meeting yesterday, Mr Mitchell was awarded with his own memorabilia that hung in a room that was named after him within the council administration building.

Interim Administrator Greg Chemello said he was delighted to present the artwork and the door sign that read "Where there's a Wil there's a Rose”, the name of Wil's wife, back to Mr Mitchell.

"It was his razor sharp commentary on the local political scene that really ruffled the feathers and delighted some readers,” Mr Chemello said.

"Given my current role, I am slightly relieved he's no longer at the QT.”

Mr Mitchell said he doesn't draw anymore, but he says he still keeps a close eye on current political affairs.

"My hand shakes a bit, and when I decided to give it away, I gave it away, that's it.”

"There are times when what's happening, like for example on the world stage, I wouldn't just draw the local politicians and the local personalities, I'd cover the whole world.

"There's times now when I look at Donald Trump and think I would be having a field day with Mr Trump.

"There's times when I look at these issues and I think I'd like to still be back at it.

"I'm 82 years of age now, I had my era.”