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Bluey and Curley are in Japan! They're taking a veteran's view of the place through the eyes of their creator, artist Alex Gurney, who gives us the first of their new adventures in The Sunday Times next Sunday.

Gurney has made a special trip to Japan for atmosphere -the kind of atmosphere he got by visiting troops in the jungle and by flying to London to join Australia s Victory Contingent. (The kind of atmosphere which has made his comic-strip Diggers authentically national and very cele-

brated characters.)

Bluey and Curley have "served" in so many places in- terpreting the mood of troops and ex-servicemen that it was inevitable, sooner or later, they would call on the Bri- tish Occupation Force.

From Gurney's almost-ag gressively - Australian point of view Japan is "all right if you keep a check on your memory and your sense of smell-and if you get used to the idea of so many Japs."

"Still." he writes to the editor, "wherever there are Diggers there is fun-and Bluey and Curley are getting their share of laughs."

From Sunday next we shall be sharing them!

* * *

1 /"vrjRNEY, who flew to

Iwa Kuni from Mel- bourne in a RAAF . crewed Lancastrian, teils of the "ter- rible shoek* he got when he stepped out of the aircraft for the first time on Jap soil.

A little girl, heavily kimo noed, came shyly forward andj handed him a bunch of;


"I didn't know what to do with 'em," the 14-stone Alex reports, "I felt like a-well I felt terrible walking around with theml And it was about 20 minutes before I got to thc ,tranlit hostel where I bunged

'em in a vase."

This wasn't the only time that "Bluey and Curley" was offered a Jap compliment.

At Kure a Japanese Guki bowed profusely at him and said: "Him Bluey, belly funny, belly funny, belly funny in- deed!"

Says Alex: "I looked at him very hard before I decided he was fair dinkum. Then some Diggers told me this particu- lar Nip could even quote Banjo Paterson.

"You certainly meet some strange people up ther<? Working in the mess hut at Iwa Kuni there's a Kamikaze pilot-you know, one of those suicide chaps who took an oath to fly their planes right into our shills

"1 asked this chap if he was glad the war had ended so that he didn't have to do it.

"'My oaf!' he said, 'too bloomin' right.' (It's wonder-' ful how quickly they pick up the language!)"

Bluey and Curley had some quaint adventures in Japan, and every one of them ended in a laugh-a laugh about mangled English on sigh boards; a laugh about hot water taps that were green instead of red; about doors that opened inwards instead of outwards; about horses that had to race uphill; about electricity switches that work in reverse; about throwing the fish back and eating the bait; and about the Emperor's archers- who aim with elabo

Irate ceremony and nearly al- ways miss the target ...

Laugh with them in The Sunday Times from Sunday