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Bluey and Curley creator Alex Gurney (left) sketches and autographs his famous comic strip characters for Lord Mayor J. Totterdell

when the cartoonist was welcomed in the

Lord Mayor's parlor this week.

A foll leon digger of the first Wortd War - o mon who knew oil the answers, o mon with a haif smoked butt hanging precariously from his lowei lip -- met a rookie from World War If in one ol the recruiting offices.

It was a strange meeting-one man who knew ail the little tricks, the fun and the hardships of the old soldier, and the callow youth to whom soldiering was still an un- explored adventure.

Out of the meeting iimaginary, of course) bee,an rhf famous comic strip, Bluey and Curley, one of the most popular in the Sunday Times.

I Alex Gurney, who created Bluey and Curley, was telling I me about it while he was in Perth this week waiting to go

back East on HMAS Sydney.

It was a big jump from 8 years of political cartooning for the Melbourne Herald to these amazingly true to life but always comical characters. But almost overnight Bluey and Curley became a hit.

Alex Gurney is a man with a bubbling sense of humor »nd a flair tor getting right down to the real foot-slogger. As his characters took shape he began to go round the ¡camps collecting ideas, picking up army slang and learning

all the many fascinating ways of the typical digger.

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Guinea as an accredited wai correspondent and there wa) no doubt that his drawing! there had a real morale building 'value.

Prom the Shaggy Ridge show and through the Island; § he traced the comical, human £ and lifelike adventures ol I Bluey and Curley. Any olo ! soldier will agree that his I characters were never far i fetched.

? After the war, the problem

arose about the future oí Bluey and Curley. Some people thought they should be taken out of uniform straight away; others consid- ered that if you took them out of uniform, that was the ??end of them.

To cushion the shock, they were sent to the Victory Parade and Alex Gurney drew his strips in London to where he had been sent by air so that his fauns charac- ters could breeze along in the right atmosphere. *

Another time they were sent up with the BCOP in Japan and this time Bluey and Curley went on their merry way against a back- ground of bespectacled Japs and coy little geisha girls.

Next thing was to get them back into civilian life.

They went through the trials of the diggers in the - rehabilitation period and

there is no doubt that Gur ' ney has given some really

first class advice to the ex soldier in some of these lat- est sketches.

In their amusing way, Bluey and Curley have in- directly warned the ex-soldier against land sharks, rent racketeers and the variety of Li spivs who have been wait I ing to rob the soldier of his 1 last 2 bob.

5 If you and I get a kick out g of Bluey and Curley, so does I Alex Gurney. He enjoys

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ibo ve all ne enjoys working ¡ for the soldier-the ordinary. ; average, carefree digger.

Alex Gurney has 3 daught- ers and a son. One of his girls has an artistic flair and is learning floral work: 2 are! it school. 1

"And what do they think ii Bluey and Curley?" I isked him. j

He just grinned at me. j "They're tolerant!" he said. Sunday Times has been running Bluey and Curley for years and it has always been one of our most popular :omic strips.

We can took forward to seeing Perth figuring in the cartoons on occasions now

that Alex Gurney has seen;

this side of Australia.

And with all the bright ideas for new adventures fori his famous pair bubbling] through his head, our read- ers can look forward to an ¿ven funnier Bluey and Cur- ley than they remember "in the Middle East, in New Gui- nea, in the Islands, in Japan or in a spot of bother any


:_ -j.*.