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Ray Billingsley

Ray Billingsley

Cartoonist/creator, Curtis

At the tender age of 12, Ray Billingsley was discovered at a seventh grade art project and literally grew up in the industry, spanning four decades. A graduate from the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art, Ray won a four-year scholarship to the School of Visual Arts, in New York, where he learned under the strict tutelage of Will Eisner. Billingsley landed his first syndicated strip, Lookin' Fine at 23, making him the youngest syndicated 'toonist in the country. The jewel in his career came with his second syndicated strip, under King Features Syndicate, titled Curtis. Curtis is a semi-autobiographical effort, detailing the life of an African American family living in a neighborhood within the inner city. It was an instant success, broke barriers, and was well-received by all ages, races, and cultures for it's humor, art, and gentle handling of topical situations. It's still going strong in over 370-plus papers internationally with an estimated 43 million readers daily. There are three Curtis compilation books, various products, and more details at Billingsley is also working on an animated treatment of Curtis.