Kurly Wurly Bar is for people who want to make a splash! Created by Michael Kovacs (aka Kurly), a life-long illustrator who loves to draw all the things he loves about Australia including galahs, surfer dudes, brush turkeys, chiko rolls and sea gulls. Kurly’s created a range of fashion items and accessories for anyone looking for some colour and fun including party shirts, shorts, tees, beach towels, reversible bucket hats, stubby holders and socks.
So where does the nickname ‘Kurly’ come from? Well it’s great Aussie humour – as I have straight hair I get called Kurly – just like redheads get called Bluey! It started when I came to Sydney and started playing cricket at the UNSWCC, one of the guys at the club called me Kurly and that was it – it stuck!
And what about my fascination with the Chiko Roll, well the Chiko Roll is synonymous with life in Australia circa 1960-70. There wasn’t the wide food choices we have today (Thai, Indian, Italian) so the local Fish and Chippy was where you went for a night out. A staple was the Chiko Roll, Australia’s answer to the Spring Roll. It quickly became the antidote to the hangover (a precursor to the kebab) and was a staple in the surfing community – a standard post-surf meal was a Chiko Roll and vanilla milkshake (made in one of those large metal cups with condensation dripping down the outside).
I drew ChikoMan one day out of respect for the roll (pardon the pun) that Chiko Rolls played in the surfing community. I thought, maybe the best surfer would combine his love of surfing and eating and hence have a longboard size Chiko Roll. The funny outcome of this drawing and all the products I made using him was the reaction from my customers – mainly “oh bloody Chiko Roll, look darl there’s a Chiko Roll, wow Dad would loooove that” I’ve also been told some of the best Chiko Roll stories ever – I wish I could remember them all as I could write a book! Everything from stories about where they bought them (or still do) to people knowing the model in the raunchy ad campaigns and even meeting the actual hand-model that starred in all the print ads (he got a free manicure and then held an empty toilet roll so the Chiko Roll could be photoshopped in later).