HomeNewsCartoonist captures Australian idiom Acquire US

Cartoonist captures Australian idiom Acquire US

When two larrikin troopers referred to as “Bluey and Curley” hit the newspaper pages as a comic book strip, many readers could not have realised that its creator, Alex Gurney, used as a lot genuine element from his struggle correspondent days to achieve a really feel for army life.

The sketch was seen as a car for Australian idiom and slang and interpreted extra precisely than different types of media, the idiosyncrasies of the Australian male. The strip first appeared within the Image-Information in 1939. When the struggle resulted in 1945, Bluey, a veteran of the Nice Struggle and Curley, a brand new recruit, went to Britain for the Victory march and served within the military of occupation in Japan earlier than going again to civilian life and taking up a variety of jobs, equivalent to lighthouse-keepers, lion-tamers, non-public detectives and extra.

Cartoonist captures Australian idiom Acquire US Obtain US

Bluey and Curley sketch. Adelaide Information, 21 April, 1943

Regardless of being extensively syndicated in newspapers in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, Alex did not water down the Australian nature of his characters. This hindered its potential sale to the USA of America, nevertheless, in 1948-49 the strip was tailored as a serial on Sydney radio station 2SM.

The sketch’s creator, Alexander George Gurney, was born in England in 1902 to William George, a captain’s steward within the Royal Navy and Alice Birdie nee Worbey. William died when Alex was solely a yr previous. In 1908 Alice emigrated to Tasmania the place she met Alex’s step-father James William Albert Hursey, a police constable and widower with two youngsters.

From faculty days Alex confirmed an curiosity in drawing and cartooning. When he left faculty he was apprenticed to the Hydro-Electrical Division however attended night artwork courses at Hobart Technical School. He would ship cartoons to the Illustrated Tasmanian Mail, the Bulletin, Melbourne Punch and Smith’s Weekly.

Cartoonist captures Australian idiom Acquire US Obtain US

Alex Gurney. Courtesy Wikipedia

In 1926 he printed a ebook of caricatures of notable residents, referred to as Tasmanians Right this moment. He married Junee Grover, daughter of Monty Grover, the editor of The Sydney Solar. By means of the Twenties Alex created plenty of notable cartoon characters for various publications together with Stiffy & Mo (two vaudevillians) for Beckett’s Finances, The Daggs (later Daggsy) for the Sunday Instances and in 1933 he drew Ben Bowyang, primarily based on CJ Dennis’s column.

In 1955 he died abruptly from coronary heart issues and was survived by his spouse, a son and three daughters. Greater than 500 journalists, artists and pals attended his funeral service at St Stephen’s Church of England in Gardenvale.

Reverend Selwyn Ide, who carried out the service mentioned Alex’s work was humorous however on the identical time unhappy.

“You usually virtually cried after you laughed – it was so compassionate.”

Alex’s cremated stays have been scattered at Springvale cemetery in Melbourne.


  • Steve Panozzo, ‘Gurney, Alexander George (Alex) (1902–1955)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Nationwide Centre of Biography, Australian Nationwide College, printed first in hardcopy 1996, accessed on-line 23 August 2023.

  • ‘Alexander George Gurney’, The Australian Media Corridor of Fame, accessed seventh September, 2023,

  • ‘500 attend Alex Gurney’s funeral’, The Argus, Wednesday 7 December, 1955, Web page 9

  • ‘Alex George Gurney’, Findagrave, accessed seventh September, 2023,

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