Perkins by John Miles

John Miles was a British cartoonist, best-known for his pantomime comic strip 'Perkins' (1968-1980).

The son of a policeman, he was born in 1934 in the police station of Glastonbury, Somerset. Miles was an art school dropout (he spent one term at Yeovil Art School) and fulfilled his military service as a mapmaker and geographical artist with the British Army in Germany from 1952 to 1954. Back in civilian life, he mostly worked as a designer of typography. For many years he worked in the display department of companies such as C&V Clark (shoes) and May & Baker (pharmaceuticals). From 1964 to 1967 he lived in Bermuda, where he produced alphabet designs and logos for the Island Press and Creative Signs. During this period he also worked as an editorial and political cartoonist for the Bermuda Sun. Miles returned to Britain in 1967, where he began working as a muralist and freelance cartoonist.

He launched a pantomime strip about a bald man with a moustache in the London Sunday Times on 14 April 1968. The strip was initially called 'Cicero', but was later renamed to 'Perkins'. It later moved to the Daily Express and the Hampstead & Highgate Express, while it was syndicated internationally through the Register & Tribune Syndicate in the USA from December 1968. After creating more than 4,000 'Perkins' strips, Miles called it quits in 1980. Four book collections of the strip were published. Other syndicated features by Miles were 'MicroMouse', 'Rumpuss', 'Depussy' and 'Figures of Speech' (1980-1992), while the artist furthermore worked as a cartoonist for papers and magazines like She Magazine, Daily Mirror, Punch, Dandy, Woman's Realm, Radio Times, Sunday Times and the Daily Express Miles has also painted portraits, designed posters and brochures, made silk screens, done advertising layouts, and worked as a toy designer. He won a prize for his cartoons at the Montreal Salon of Cartoons in 1972. He passed away in Bath on 8 February 1998.

Perkins by John Miles

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