The Jakarta Post
Renowned cartoonist Gerardus Mayela Sudarta (GM Sudarta), who created the Oom Pasikom (uncle Pasikom) character for Kompas daily newspaper in 1967, passed away on Saturday at the age of 72. (Twitter/KompasTV/Arbain Rambey)
Renowned cartoonist Gerardus Mayela Sudarta (GM Sudarta), who created the Oom Pasikom (uncle Pasikom) character for Kompas daily newspaper in 1967, passed away on Saturday at the age of 72.
Oom Pasikom, who is recognizable by his patched suit and beret, was created to represent the nation’s biggest daily newspaper and capture current issues in a lighthearted but poignant fashion.
An exhibition titled 50 Tahun Kesaksian Oom Pasikom (Fifty Years of Oom Pasikom) was held last year to celebrate the character.
Sudarta was once quoted by kompas.com as saying that a cartoonist is often trapped in the bitter side of life. He often expresses concerns over injustice, disorder, crimes and chaos through his works as a statement to criticize and raise awareness.
His works attracted threats and attacks, but Sudarta insisted that cartoons were a part of his life that he would never abandon. He said that the art made him feel alive and that the bitter parts of life needed to be felt in order to continue creating.
Sudarta’s health had been deteriorating since 2010, when he had to undergo orthopedic surgery following a fall in his bathroom. He also contracted hepatitis C that same year.
In addition to being published in Kompas, Sudarta’s works were compiled in several books, including Kumpulan Kartun (Cartoon Compilation, 1980), Humor Reformasi (Humor of the Reform Era, 1995) and 40 Tahun Oom Pasikom (40 Years of Uncle Pasikom, 2007).
Sudarta received the Adinegoro Prize, the highest accolade for journalistic works published in printed media, in 1983 and 1984. (mut)