Rent-a-Ghost, by Reginald Parlett
Rent-a-Ghost

Reg Parlett was the second artistic son of Harry Parlett, and he entered the field of comic strip cartooning before his brother George Parlett did. He started out drawing jokes and filler strips for publications like Merry & Bright in 1923. He became one of the top artists for Amalgamated Press in second half of the 1930s, and stayed with the company until his death in 1991.

Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, from Cor!! comic strip, art by Reginald Parlett
Ivor Lott and Tony Broke (Cor!!)

His first creation for Funny Wonder was 'Danny and Domino' in 1927. In 1932, Parlett started drawing 'Charlie Chaplin', also for Funny Wonder. He also drew 'Bighearted Arthur' for magazine Radio Fun and 'Vernon the Villain' for Jester.

Creepy Car, by Reginald Parlett
Creepy Car

He served in the R.A.F. during World War II and subsequently joined David Hand at Gaumont British Animation (G.B.A.), where he became writer at the story department. While scripting for cartoons in the 'Animaland' series, he continued to draw for Funny Comic, Flash, Clannenger, Funbeam and Zip. In 1950, he returned to Amalgamated Press when the G.B.A. offices closed down.

Billy Bunter, by Reginald Parlett
Billy Bunter

For the next decades, Parlett drew for many of A.P. (later IPC and Fleetway) magazines. Between 1952 and 1953 he made his only science fiction comic, 'The Sky Explorers', for Comet. Parlett was also one of the artists for the 'Billy Bunter' strip in Knockout between 1958 and 1961, and continued to draw it for Valiant throughout the 1960s. He was a regular artist for Buster, drawing the title strip from 1974 when he succeeded Angel Nadal.

Buster's Diary, by Reginald Parlett
Buster's Diary

In addition to the Buster title comic, Parlett also made stories with 'Benny Hill' (1966-68) and series like 'Dinah Mite' (1965-68), Freddie "Parrot Face" Davies (1968-71) and 'Rent a Ghost' (1969-79). He remained active for Buster throughout the 1970s and 1980s, creating serials like 'Bonehead' (1971-74), 'Disappearing Trix' (1979-82), 'Kid Gloves' (1975-80), 'It's a Nice Life' (1982-88), 'Fright School' (1985-88) and 'Beastenders' (1987-90), the latter in cooperation with Anthony Hutchings.

The Crows by Reg Parlett

Among the many other comic books Parlett worked for are TV Fun ('The Happy Family', 1968), Valiant ('The Crows', 1968), Lion ('The Lion Street', 1960s), Cor!! ('Ivor Lott and Tony Broke', 'Nightmare'), Shiver & Shake ('Lolly Pop', 'The Hand'), Whoopee! ('Evil Eye', 'Teacher's Pet', 'Creepy Car'), Monster Fun, Jackpot ('It's a nice life', 'Kid King'), Whizzer & Chips ('Belle Tent', 'Harry Haunted House', 'Bewitched Belinda', 1979), Swift ('Calling "U" for Useless'), Giggle ('Dim Dan'), Eagle ('Fido'), Wow ('Goddies and Baddies'), Krazy ('Fit Fred and Sick Sid') and Cheeky ('Mustapha Million').

Kid Gloves, by Reg Parlett (1977)
Kid Gloves (1977)

In 1989, after 66 years of cartooning, Parlett still drew a couple of full pages a week. Reginald Parlett is sometimes mentioned as one of the greatest phenomena in England's comics history.

Horace the Hare, and Gilbert the Greyhound by Roy Wilson
Horace the Hare, and Gilbert the Greyhound

Charlie Chaplin, by Reginald Parlett
Charlie Chaplin, by Reginald Parlett

Last updated: 2013-12-22

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