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'Curtis' fans, rejoice: Gunk lives!

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"Curtis" fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Gunk lives.

Yes, the mysterious character, who periodically appears brandishing a trouble-making lizard and a set of eyes that make one think he may be the product of two cousins mating, is safe and sound after cartoonist Ray Billingsley suggested he may have died in a tragic drowning incident.

For regular "Curtis" readers, the revival of this oddball recurring character ought to be reassuring. After all, "Curtis" is a comic typically built on just a handful of potential plot devices. These include, and are often limited to:

*Curtis fights with little brother Barry

*Curtis tries to get snooty actress Michelle to go out on a date

*Curtis tries to get his dad to quit smoking/give him money/appreciate gangsta rap

*Curtis willfully ignores the romantic attention of his friend Chutney

*Curtis' dad has a rough day working at the Department of Motor Vehicles

*Curtis visits the barber shop

*Curtis plays around with his strange pal Gunk, whose Flyspeck Island lizard gets Curtis into trouble at home.

Now that Gunk remains in good health, faithful readers can sleep better at night, reassured in the knowledge that creator Billingsley will not have to think up new and original plots for this character to ride, leaving "Curtis" to stick to the same old stuff at a time when newspaper comics are fast becoming irrelevant. Long live Gunk!

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