Saturday, 1 August 2009

Forty years after the death of Curly Wee artist Roland Clibborn , a look back at some of the work of this celebrated cartoonist.

Mr Clibborn was best known for the cult cartoon series Curly Wee and Gussy Goose published in a number of newspapers including the Liverpool Echo .

Research indicates that much of his original artwork was destroyed by fire. However some examples have survived

Here's a typical frame , from a small private collection , depicting Curly.
It is an original , numbered 7521 , stamped 2011 on the reverse.

From the mid 1940s onwards a number of annuals were released. The second , from around 1946 was titled "Curly Wee and Company"

This example , with slight water damage to the outer cover , contains a personalised message from Margaret and Roland Clibborn , 1965

The last reported cartoon by Clibborn is numbered 10274.

The frame below [10232] was drawn shortly before he retired from the world of Curly Wee due to poor health.

By then he needed a little help with the artwork as can be seen by the drawing on the right .


  1. He was my great grandfather. I have 2 of the original plates that survive, number 6300 and 6772. I would be happy to scan them and email them to you, so you can post them here.
    Thank you for setting up this blog.

  2. What a wonderful artist! This work is a gift to us all. The expressions of the characters are so subtle...especially the young ones. You know their frame of mind at a glance. And all done by brushes, never a pen. He complemented Maud's witty rhymes so well.

  3. Grapunzle is Cuthbert Colt!!

  4. Now almost 70 I still have fond memories of Curly
    Wee & his adventurous colleagues. Growing up in Ireland in 1950's we were able to enjoy a daily
    ration of imagination while reading the cartoon
    strip: Curly Wee & Gussie Goose. This appeared in the Irish Independent and continues to attract a loyal cohort of new fans. The
    characters depicted have echoes in our current society though the refined language may sound strange to 'texters'! Bravo Curly & Friends!
    The Elder Scribe (Malahide, Ireland)

    1. Can you help me to fill the gaps in my collection.See me post here.I need the second episode of the first artist and the pudhbike race (immediately after the great train robbery) and 1 -480 of the second artist.All the rest I have digitalized and willing to share

  5. I have cut pasted and saved a lot of these strips.Some of the new artist also,I am looking for ways to fill up my collection.I want 3734 to 7680 of the old artist and 1 to 481 of the new artist and any strips after 1004 of the new artist

  6. After my last posting with the help of David Humphreys of the UK and another friend who gave aling to the Archives of The Age I have quite a good digitalised collection/But to complete the collection I mainly wany from Clibborns drawings 15 to 28 (2nd episode) 2455to 2502 and 9963 to 10040.Clarjes I want 1 to 480.I am willing to share my digitalised copies with other Curly Wee followers.But I want the above very badly.Pl contact me @

  7. How can we get those digitlaised copies please? We are all Curly fans !

  8. A fan from India - I have fond memeory of Curly Wee books & strips I collected from The Mail - If there are digitalised copies, how can I get them?