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ParlettBB3a

A Billy Bunter page by Reg Parlett

Reginald Edward Parlett was born in Camberwell, London, on 2 August 1904, son of comics artist Harry Parlett. His older brother George was also a comics artist, and he was related to the games designer David Parlett and the postcard artist Tom Parlett.

After leaving school Reg became a clerk for the travel agent Thomas Cook. His father submitted some of his work to the Amalgamated Press, and he became a full-time staff artist there in 1923. He started with one-off cartoons for Merry and Bright and by the late 1920s was drawing covers for the paper.

He created "Danny and Domino" for The Funny Wonder in 1927, and drew Charlie Chaplin (1932-), Robin Hood and "The Sheriff of Sherbet City" for the same title. Other strips he drew include "Big Hearted Arthur" for Radio Fun, "Vernon the Villain" for The Jester, "Peggy the Pride of the Force" for [Larks]], "Lizzie and her Comical Courtiers" (1928-40), "Larry the Larky Legionnaire" (1932-39) and "Our Screen Screams" (1935-37) for The Wonder, and "Jerry, Jenny and Joe" for Tip Top. He also drew for Crackers and Jingles.

He served in the RAF during World War II, and afterwards joined Gaumont-British Animation as a writer, working on the "Animaland" cartoon series. He continued to work in comics, drawing for independent titles like Funny Comic, Flash, Challenger, Funbeam and Zip.

After Gaumont-British closed in 1950 he worked on the animated film Animal Farm as an artist, and returned to the Amalgamated Press, where he worked for the next several decades, through its tranformations into Fleetway Publications and IPC. He drew "The Sky Explorers" (1952-53) for The Comet, and in 1958, following the death of Frank Minnitt, he took over drawing Billy Bunter in Knock-Out, which he drew until 1961.

In the 1960s he drew Just Jake in the Daily Mirror. Strips he drew for the AP include "Big One" (1964-65) for The Big One; "The Happy Family" (1968) for TV Fun; "The Crows" (1968) for Valiant; "The Lion Street" and "Mowser" for Lion; "Ivor Lott and Tony Broke" and "Nightmare" for Cor!!; "Lolly Pop" and "The Hand" for Shiver and Shake; "Evil Eye", "Teacher's Pet" and "Creepy Car" for Whoopee!; "It's a Nice Life" and "Kid King" for Jackpot; "Belle Tent", "Harry's Haunted House" and "Bewitched Belinda" for Whizzer and Chips; "Calling 'U' for Useless" for Swift; "Dim Dan" for Giggle; "Fido" for Eagle; "Goodies and Baddies" for Wow; "Fit Fred and Sick Sid" for Krazy; and "Mustapha Million" for Cheeky.

He was perhaps best known for his work on Buster, where he drew "Buster" (1974-85), and created "Bonehead" (1971-74), "Kid Gloves" (1975-80), "Disappearing Trix" (1979-82), "Fright School" (1985-88) and "Beastenders" (1987-90). The 2 August 1984 issue of Buster celebrated his 80th birthday, and a 1989 issue of Big Comic Fortnightly celebrated his 85th.

He died in Surrey on 18 November 1991, leaving a widow, Mary, who he had married in 1928, and two sons, Malcolm and Graeme.

ReferencesEdit

  • Alan Clark, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, pp. 128-9

Online referenceEdit

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