NEIL CURTIS January 2, 1950 – December 11, 2006

Neil CurtisI found the above photo on flickr.  I believe the photographer is Mimmo Cozzolino.


This book is courtesy of Miss Gracie Taylors Pre Loved Books, in Clare, SA.  Thank you,  Nigelle-ann.


And thank you, google, for the image.

At the time I first wrote this, I could not find the actual date of birth for Neil.   However a recent  comment from ChristopherKaramihos provided the date of birth.  Thank you Christopher.  His “Memory Book,” recounts growing up in London.  Here is a comment from a review of that book.

In The Memory Book author/illustrator Neil Curtis chronicles his memories of childhood, from birth till the age of seven. Curtis was born in England not long after the finish of the Second World War, and he and his family emigrated to Australia when he was seven, so these memories are of his childhood in England

Here is a link to the full text from which the comment was pulled.

And from the following note in “The Roo Book,”


I guess my only comment on all that, is that I thought WWII, at least in Europe, ended in may, 1945.  If he was born in 1950, that does not seem to be ‘…not long after the finish of the Second World War…’ Yeah, I know.  Picky, picky, picy.

Oh, and since they mention the All Australian Graffiti illustration studio, here is the link,

In any case, he is now known as an Australian Cartoonist of considerable talent.  If you search for “Neil Curtis,” be certain to append, “Australian Cartoonist,” else you will find yourself thrust into Soap Opera, body painting, and everything not Australian Cartoonish.  You have been warned.

From the introduction to this book, which follows, I want to add a note of explanation.  Mimmo Kangolino (Cozzolino?) mentions that Curtis “…sculpts with that dastardly tool, the rapidograph!”  That was written in 1983, when I assume the rapidograph had not been replaced by CAD and other forms of computer drawing.  However, we are now in 2014, and for the edification of readers who may wonder just what a rapidograph is, I provide the photo, below, of a genuine Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph, number 2 pen.  It did take me a while to locate it, but since I never throw anything away, I knew it was only a matter of time until I unearthed it.  It was sharing space with a slide rule, a K&E Jupiter Drawing instrument set, and a bunch of French curves.


Well, let us move along to the introduction from the book.



Mimmo Cozzolino has a few photos of Curtis’ work.

Australian Art and Design Online, has a very short bio.  They also mention that his active period was from 1980 to 2006.  So, I guess he was active from his 30’s until his death.

The National Library of Australia, has an interesting entry on him, from which the “Memory Book” comment was taken.  Their site is well worth a visit.

Here is a somewhat more detailed biography courtesy of “Reading Enriches Learning,” website.

Illustrator profile

Neil Curtis was born in the East End of London and immigrated with his parents to Broadmeadows, just north of Melbourne, in the late 1950s. He found the move difficult as both his accent and his lack of interest in sport made it difficult for him to be accepted. Neil now lives in Melbourne where he works as a freelance illustrator. His work has been exhibited in Australia and internationally, and he has been awarded the Silver Award for Illustration by the Australian Writers and Art Directors Association. Neil has published a number of children’s books including The Roo Book and Bear Dinkum, as well as illustrating short novels such as Big Feet, Very Sweet and collaborating with Joan Grant to produce another book about Cat and Fish.

Also, we have a link for a rather extensive bibliography.

So, now that we know a bit  about Neil Curtis, let us look at some of his work.

When I first did this post,  I did not know who ‘Jo’ and ‘MIP’ were, but this book was dedicated to the two of them.  [In the US, MIP stands for, Minor In Possession]  However, Christopher has provided us with an explanation that Jo was his mother, and MIP his son.  Again, thank you, Christopher.

This an excerpt from a comment found at the end of the post.

Jo was Neil’s girlfriend & Mip’s mother not Neil’s mother. Their relationship lasted only a few years.

For this information I thank Toni Rudov.


Now, as promised, some cartoons.






Followed by ,


In this case, I do not think one led to the other.

Finally, scenes along the Stuart Highway.




Which leads us to the end of this post with an appropriate cartoon.


Hope you enjoyed them.



About visualhumor

Enjoy viewing and collecting visual humor from around the world.
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9 Responses to NEIL CURTIS January 2, 1950 – December 11, 2006

  1. Hi Ted, my name is Christopher and i was a very close friend to Neil. He was born on January 2nd 1950 and died as you know Dec 11 2006 from cancer. Jo is his mother and Mip is his son, hope that fills some gaps, cheers, Christopher.

    • visualhumor says:

      Thank you so very much for the information. I am fascinated by his drawings via Rapidograph. Do you happen to know how long it took him to complete a drawing using this tool?
      Again, thank you for your helpful information.

      • Hi again Ted, no worries. I guess with the illustrations in the Roo Book, those ones would have probably taken him 3 – 4 hrs to complete, depending on the complexity. But with some of his recent books like, ‘Cat and Fish’, those plates would of taken a day or two to complete. He was though, a work horse and worked tirelessly on all his projects, he is missed by all. Thanks again.

      • visualhumor says:

        Thank you Christopher.
        Really, an inspiration to all who do not use computer aided drawing…

  2. Also, i have a copy of the book..

  3. Yvette griffin says:

    Me too, cousin (nee Curtis) 🙂

  4. Toni rudov says:

    Correction in regard to the Neil Curtis biog Jo was Neil’s girlfriend & Mip’s mother not Neil’s mother. Their relationship lasted only a few years.

    • visualhumor says:

      Thank you Toni for this update.

      • John Daniels says:

        I randomly searched Neil’s name, wondering what happened to my odd high school friend. We went to Oak Park High; he hung around with ‘odd-ball’ characters, sometimes me. Whatever happened to Leon Norster and Rick Humphries (a brilliant artist and thinker who last I heard was looking after pigs)? He was a lousy sportsman, although he could run faster than me. We did art together (HSC in 1967); he was very talented with cartoon work and had a very carefree attitude. I would have loved to have caught up with him. John Daniels

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