Kid Koola, by Reg Hicks

Born in Kent, England, Reg Hicks moved to Melbourne, Australia, with his family in 1921. At the age of 14, he got a job at a soft goods factory, where he eventually became head of the art department. He went to study music, and upon leaving the factory, he taught violin and attended art training at the National Gallery School. He became a member of the Victorian Artists Society, and began doing freelance cartooning and caricaturing. His first comics work was an adaptation of Erle Cox's 'Out of Silence', which ran in the Melbourne Argus in 1934. He also did a single panel children's feature, called 'Kitty's Kapers', which he signed Hix. In the following years, he expanded his activities for the Argus and the Age, and drew comics like 'Robinson Crusoe', 'The Deerslayer', 'Willy and Wally', Betty and Bob', 'The King's Treasure' and 'The Space Patrol'. He also created 'The Adventures of Larry Steele', which ran in the Age from 1937 to 1940. While working on his several features for the Age, he continued to do freelance work as a story reader for the Australian Broadcasting Commission on the side.

After a brief period working in naval intelligence in 1940, he joined Associated Newspapers and created 'Tightrope Tim', which appeared in the Sydney Sunday Sun from 1941. While working on this strip until 1949, he created the daily domestic strip 'Family Man' and continued to freelance for Rydges, the Sydney Morning Herald and advertising agencies. In addition, he illustrated four 'Kid Koals' comic books. He left Associated Newspapers in 1958, and became involved with several commercial enterprises, including kitchen utilities, plastics, fiberglass and pottery. On the side, he created the strip 'Debbie' for The New Idea, and wrote and drew for overseas children's annuals. Reginald Hicks, an artist who was successful in popularizing the adventure strip in Australia, retired in 1977.

Jungle Drum, by Reg Hicks

Last updated: 2007-04-27

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