curly flat ~ the Michael Leunig appreciation site


THE STICK and other tales of our times

published November 2002

THE STICK (and other tales of our times) collects 140 of Leunigís illustrated contributions to The Melbourne Age in the years up to 2003. This is the first general anthology since Goat Person (and other tales) was released exactly three years before, giving a pool of over 400 cartoons to select from. I religiously collect his ĎAgeí contributions yet I have to say that many of these are new to me.

If thereís a common theme through THE STICK it would have to be introversion, withdrawal from a world the artist perceives to be recklessly rattling itself apart. Itís the diary of a misfit in who suggests that maybe itís our idea of normal that isnít normal, after all.

The title alludes to the first cartoon in the collection, a light hearted opening, exploring the origins of the humble Stick Ė a dubious but witty historical narrative in true Leunig style. Thereís a little more of that, plenty of poetry in his usual naive style, and more than this books fair share of gloom and doom.

THE STICK is a hardbound edition with dust jacket, densely populated with words by Leunig standards, not a pick-me-up but you won't put it down.

Works include:
The Pie of Life
A Brief History of Humans
The Blowfly of Love
He Woke Up Feeling Inappropriate
Modern Stupid
How to Have an Office Christmas Party If You Work Alone    
The Warlords of Suburbia
Woes Maketh the Man
Underpants Which Have in Winter Sagged
Rustle Crow
The Chattering Classes
No Sooner Do You Arrive Than it's Time to Leave
The First Day of School
Your Sausage Questions Answered
The Other You
Ye Olde Sayings of Journalism
More to Life
telephone Sex
Moments of No Consequence
The Wine Regions Of Our House
The Strain Of Being Acceptable
Live Human Syndrome
Yearning Aphorisms
Billy The Rabbit Is Dead
The Empty Jeff Syndrome
Major Cracks Appearing in Everything

"The Stick - and other tales of our times" is published by Penguin Books Australia Ltd. and available through the usual outlets. ISBN 0 670 04048 7