Curtis Wesley Wilkins  is an 11-year-old boy who lives in the inner city with his parents, Greg and Diane, and his younger brother Barry, whom Curtis regards as a brat although others regard Barry as a charming young boy. Greg works at the DMV and hates his job; Diane is a housewife. Greg and Diane met when they were both featured dancers on Soul Train.
Curtis frequently goes to his father to either beg him for money or get him to quit smoking, with little success at either. Curtis always plays rap music loudly which prompts complaints from the unseen neighbors and from his father. Greg has a real hatred towards rap music, and he loves to listen to Motown music, which, naturally, Curtis hates very much.
Curtis frequently enjoys going to Gunther's Barbershop. Gunther, the owner of the shop, can never correctly recall Curtis' name and instead calls him by a random selection of names (names that typically begin with the letter "C"). Gunther regales Curtis and the other barbershop customers with jokes and stories. Gunther's stories often involve unlikely interactions with celebrities, but his only proof of any such interactions are photographs in which a large thumb invariably blocks any view of the reported celebrity.
Another one of Curtis' favorite places is a local record store that is always disguised as another type of establishment (i.e. "The Don King School of Etiquette" among others) because the local parents constantly torch the place for the type of music it sells.
Curtis also loves to go to the movies where he watches gory, horror movies alongside Barry who tags along even though he doesn't approve of them.
A running gag has Curtis making fun of ladies' hats while at church, which always appears in the Sunday edition of the strip, usually near holidays, especially Easter.
Curtis loves fried chicken, as evidenced by his refusal to hang out with his friends to play basketball in order to help his mother make chicken.
Curtis routinely sneaks food when and where he should not. He sneaks out of bed at night to get food, but is usually caught by his parents. He also sneaks food into the movies and church where, despite his brother's nagging worries, Curtis is almost never caught.
Curtis also enjoys reading the comic book Adventures of Supercaptaincoolman, which he often gets in trouble because he habitually reads in during school.
Friends and enemies
Curtis' best friend is Gunk, a caucasian, cross-eyed, magical boy, who comes from a faraway, fictional place called Flyspeck Island. Gunk would visit with Curtis once in a while, but he's not without his pet Flyspeck Island chameleon who tags along for the ride and make Curtis' life miserable with his highly mischievous antics.
Curtis often tangles with his three adversaries, Mrs. Nelson, Derrick, and "Onion". Mrs. Nelson is his overweight, middle-aged teacher who is at odds with him for his antics, his bad grades, and his daydreaming. Derrick and "Onion" are bullies who call Curtis "Wimpkins" and plagued him with Yo' Mama jokes as well as forcefully extorting him of his lunch money.
He also is part of a love-triangle with two girls; Michelle and Chutney.
Michelle is a rather egotistical, 13-year-old who Curtis is completely enamored with, but she is often visibly annoyed with his presence. Curtis likes to call her "Shelly", but she does not like to be called that, yet repeated requests for him to stop calling her that haven't worked. Michelle often brags about her aspiration to be a singer.
Chutney is a smaller girl who is closer to Curtis' age and is way less egotistic and snooty compared to Michelle. She is completely enamored by Curtis, but he regards her as only a friend at best, although she is always there to listen to his problems. She also despises Derrick and "Onion" as they are Curtis' foes.
This love triangle could be a prime example of preteen love, where the boy loves one girl who doesn't love him, yet another girl loves that boy and the boy doesn't like that girl.
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer strip from February 20, 2011 Retrieved 2011-02-20