Wednesday, January 30, 2008

National Cartoonist Society Profile: Jack Kent

Another favorite in my series of cartoonist from the National Cartoonist Society archives is the whimsical beloved strip King Aroo by Jack Kent. The artist's open loose-lined art style coupled with its many sophisticated puns and wonderful wordplay had many fans compare his work to classic strips like Pogo, Barnaby, Little Nemo, and Krazy Kat. Here is Kent's short from the NCS archives in his own words: Getting from 1920 to the present with a minimal loss of parts and faculties has been my most noteworthy accomplishment. Along the way I have drawn a few cartoons and magazine gags before and after my stint with the army in WWII (1st Lt, FA). The very comic strip King Aroo, which ran (or jogged) for fifteen years, beginning in 1950, made me world famous for blocks around. Since 1967 have been writing and illustrating children's book's. There have been over forty up to this time, (2:45 PM but my watch may be slow) and more are in the womb. I'm having more fun, my wife is an angel, my son is a genius, and I am thrice blessed.


Mike Lynch said...

KING AROO is a fondly remembered strip, but the darn thing is that I wasn't born when it was around and all I have to remember are some snippets of the thing in some comics history books. Every once in a while, I hear someone talking about how it should be in print, like POGO, and I hope that the someone who feels that way has the means to actually get it into print one of these days.

I think that if MOOMIN can be reprinted, then anything is possible. I mean, MOOMIN is not exactly a well-known strip, but it still works and it's worth reprinting. And MOOMIN is selling well! Here's hoping IDW or FANTAGRAPHICS or CHECKER will reprint AROO.

Dave Karlen said...

Mike,the early strips were collected in a 192-page book, King Aroo, published by Doubleday in 1953. Perhaps you could find a copy with a little luck.