UPDATED: Celebrated NT cartoonist Col Wicking has ditched the NT News to continue his famous cartooning career at the NT Independent citing professional integrity and employment security as reasons.
Mr Wicking had been a cartoonist at the paper for more than 30 years, and drew his last cartoon on Thursday, in which he seemed to suggest a cat was glad he had finished cartooning, or he himself was the cat, and he was glad to be finishing up.
Regardless, he bowed out from the NT News on a triumphant high.
But what he had kept secret was that he was not in fact retiring but moving to a new outlet.
Mr Wicking said he was joining the NT Independent because of the integrity of the publication and he didn’t know how much longer the NT News would exist for.
“I kind of give them another six to eight weeks probably, and then I reckon they will fold,” he said.
“There doesn’t seem to be that much point or interest in keeping it going. Although Gerry Harvey might shed a tear or two.”
He said he had also been inspired by, and deeply respected the humour on NT Independent owner Owen Pike’s former ‘Gumment the Lover’ Labor government Facebook fan page.
NT Independent editor Chris Walsh said he felt sorry for Wicking, and gave him a gig, because he felt he needed an image rehabilitation after the last few years of the NT News.
“Look, the employment opportunities for someone coming out of the NT News at the minute are not strong,” he said.
“Wicking has an incredible knack for making people confused and bemused over even the most humorous topics and interprets news like no other. We have got our work cut out to fix that.
“But no matter how confusing his cartoons are they still make more sense than the NT News‘ political coverage.
“So we are going to take him in, hose him off, and let him scribble a few men in black singlets for awhile.”
Editor’s Note: This is one of two April Fool’s Day stories we ran this year. The other is the story about the Gunner Government lifting its ban on the NT Independent.