Rent-a-Ghost, by Reginald Parlett

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. Parlett was also one of the animators, along with Bill MevinHarold Whitaker and Brian White, who worked on the 1954 film adaptation of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm', directed by Joy Batchelor and John Halas. The book revolves around a group of farm animals who revolt and establish their own society. Unfortunately they turn into a dictatorship, mirroring how the ideals of the Russian Revolution resulted into Joseph Stalin's tyranny. The plot of the animated adaptation was generally faithful to the spirit of the book. Only the ending was changed to give viewers more hope that people would/could rise against their oppression. Unbeknownst to most of the animators the project was financed by the C.I.A., as a propaganda vehicle against Stalinism. 'Animal Farm' was additionally notable as the first animated feature made on British soil, and as an animated film made for an adult audience. 

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 comic 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.

Series and books by Reginald Parlett you can order today:


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