King Aroo, by Jack Kent

Jack Kent dropped out of high school to go into commercial art. While still a teen, he sold some of his gags to Collier's agency. After serving in World War II, fighting in Alaska and the South-Pacific, he got a job in a printing plant and commenced working as an independent illustrator. In 1950, he created his first comic, 'King Aroo'. It ran until 1965, and has been distributed by the McClure, Bell and Golden Gate Features syndicates. Another short-lived strip by Kent was 'Why Christmas Almost Wasn't', distributed by N.E.A. in 1968.

Afterwards, Kent disappeared from the comic scene, reportedly to work as a truck driver. He came back as an illustrator of children's books, one of which earned him the Chicago Graphics Award. He also contributed drawings to Humpty Dumpty, The Saturday Evening Post and Playboy, and illustrated a great many Hallmark postcards. He died in 1985.

The Belgian comics artist Marc Sleen gave King Aroo a guest role in his comics series 'Nero', more specifically the story 'De Pijpeplakkers' (1964-1965), in which Aroo is portrayed as the king of the fictional country Slobobavia. His appearance was only slightly altered by giving the monarch a bigger nose. Kent was obviously not informed, nor asked for permission. King Aroo's cameo in 'Nero' has remained unnoticed, probably because 'King Aroo' went out of syndication in 1965 and therefore sank into obscurity in the Dutch-language press.

King Aroo, by Jack Kent 1956

About 'King Aroo'

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