Edward Dudley Pout (b. Herne, Kent, 24 November 1908; d. Biddenden, Kent, 12 December 1991) came from a farming family, and at the age of 13 won a scholarship to Margate School of Art. He left at 15 to join the family farming business until 1930, when he successfully applied for a job painting cinema posters with East Kent Poster Services in Dover. Two years later he was appointed manager of the Stoll Art Studios in Chatham, which produced billboards, posters, handbills and press advertisments for the Stoll Empire Theatre, and married Vida Standing, daughter of a farming neighbour.
He was soon spotted by London publicity managers, and worked in Wardour Street, painting posters for the major British film studios, until 1938, when uncertainty in the film business prompted him to look to advertising for work. He served in the Metropolitan Police Reserve during the Second World War, which enabled him to keep illustrating. However, his house was destroyed by a "doodlebug" and he moved out of the capital to Orpington in Kent.
His freelance commercial art career continued after the war, and in the 1950s he drew comics for Hulton Press, including "The Aventure Club" (1952-53), written by J. Jefferson Farjeon, and "What's His Name?", for the Eagle. He did most of his work for Girl, beginning with "Yvette" (1952), written by Sylvia Little, and "Travel Girl" (1952-53), written by Molly Black. He frequently illustrated scripts by Betty Roland, including "Pat of Paradise Island" (1953-1954), "Laura and the Legend of Hadley House" (1954), the "Vicky" series (1954-58), and "Angela Air Hostess" (1958-61). He also drew "Sally of the South Seas" (1961), written by Don Freeman, and "Prince of the Pampas" (1961), and various biographical strips. However, declining sales and his wife's poor health led to him leaving comics in 1962 ands returning to farming.
He retired to Biddenden, Kent, in 1973, still painting for pleasure, and also produced a series of postcards depicting "Farming in Bygone Days". He wrote an autobiography, The Life and Art of One Man of Kent, published in 1982, which included selections of his illustrations and paintings. He died at home, aged 83.
- Steve Holland, Dudley Pout, Bear Alley, 31 January 2007