The Jakarta Post
A renowned cartoonist who created the Oom Pasikom (Uncle Pasikom) character for 'Kompas' in 1967, Gerardus Mayela Sudarta, known widely as GM Sudarta, passed away on Saturday at 8:25 a.m. at the age of 72. (Twitter/KompasTV/Arbain Rambey)
“I have a lot of memories with Romo,” said GM Sudarta’s twin daughter Nimas Sekar, 25.
GM Sudarta was a renowned cartoonist who created the Oom Pasikom (Uncle Pasikom) character for Kompas daily newspaper.
The cartoonist had three children: Kinara, 28, and twins Aryo Damar and Nimas Sekar. Romo was the nickname given to Sudarta by his children. It means "father" in Javanese.
“Romo told us about his experiences. He also motivated us, [asking] us to appreciate everything. Romo was a hardworking, firm and humble man,” recalled Sekar.
When The Jakarta Post visited Rumah Duka Sinar Kasih in Bogor, where Sudarta’s remains were laid out, Sekar shared her memories about her father.
Sekar said that she frequently painted together with Sudarta, who created more caricatures than paintings.
The cartoonist was said to have created over 3,000 caricatures that are now part of the Kompas archives.
Read also: Cartoonist GM Sudarta dies at 72
“When we were about to create content for Kompas' 40th anniversary, Romo asked me to find dates and events related to the caricatures,” said Sekar, saying that some of the art from the archives had been missing.
Sudarta retired from Kompas in 2005. Initially, the cartoonist wanted to have a lifetime contract with the nation’s biggest daily. However, his health condition led him to look for a replacement. He was then asked to create caricatures whenever he could.
Sudarta first found out about his disease in 2009, when he got sick in Japan. At the time, he was asked to be a guest lecturer at Seika University to talk about political cartoons. After a medical examination, Sudarta was diagnosed with hepatitis C.
He returned from Japan and stayed in Yogyakarta. Two years ago, Sudarta moved to Villa Batu, his private villa located in Cilember village, Megamendung district, Bogor regency.
“Romo chose to stay in Bogor to rest [as he] looked for a calmer atmosphere. He stayed in Bogor until he passed away on Saturday at 8:25 a.m.,” said Sekar.
Sudarta was cremated at RS Sentra Medika Crematorium in Cibinong, Bogor. (JP/Theresia Sufa)
Sudarta was cremated at RS Sentra Medika Crematorium in Cibinong, Bogor, on Monday. His ashes will be kept in Giri Sapto in Yogyakarta, a cemetery complex for artists.
Kompas chief editor Budiman Tanuredjo said during the requiem mass that for 50 years, Sudarta’s works were in line with the newspaper's editorial policy. His works were not merely drawings – they were editorials in the form of cartoons. (jes/wng)