(Updated Thursday pm with funeral details)

Times of Malta cartoonist Maurice Tanti Burlo or as he was better known Nalizpelra, passed away today, aged 78.

He began drawing cartoons for The Times of Malta in October 1977 to “get back at Mintoff” for the way Telemalta employees, such as himself, were suspended without pay for supporting doctors, nurses and bankers on strike. He wrote about the experience here.

His chosen pseudonym Nalizpelra had featured in his cartoon showing an army of dissatisfied workers from all over Malta firing shots at a mean-looking Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, depicted as a bird.

In an interview in Times of Malta in 2012, he had spoken about this and other cartoons (see slide show), including an unpublished one on President Emeritus Eddie Fenech Adami, where the then President was depicted as Archbishop.

He published three books A Worm’s Eye View in 1982, Blame it on Dom! in 2002 and Blame It on Ed! in 2004 and took part in more than 50 art and cartooning exhibitions in Malta and abroad since 1962.

His cartoons have also been featured as stamp designs.

He won the BPC Award to Journalists when the cartoons section was first introduced in 1998 and again in 2002.

He was married to Elena Gatt and had a son, Sebastian.

His funeral is being held tomorrow (Friday) at the Siggiewi Parish Church at 2pm.