“Welcome,” says Michael Leunig, drawing aside the collection of cloud and rabbit mobiles that serves as his front door. I step into the atrium of his house, staring in wonder at the thousands of origami unicorns drifting slowly down from the ceiling. “I like to keep the unicorns here,” Leunig intones, noticing my interest. “They remind me of what’s important in life. Never forget unicorns.” He refuses to elaborate.

Sitting across from Leunig in his tastefully decorated lounge room -- walls covered with giant versions of his own cartoons, carpet made of fairy floss – I notice a single tear running down his cheek. I enquire: is he all right? “I’m fine,” he replies, not wiping the tear away. “I just always cry a single tear every morning, to represent the essential sadness at the heart of mankind.”