King Aroo was an American comic strip series written and drawn by Jack Kent. The strip made its debut in November 1950 and ran until June 1965. The strip was distributed through the McClure Syndicate.
Characters and story
The strip's central character, King Aroo, is the monarch of the mythical Myopia. Supporting characters included Yupyop, Lord High Almost Everything; scientific expert Professor Yorgle; Mr. Pennipost, the kangaroo mailman with an astounding pocket capacity; Mr. Elephant, so forgetful he doesn't recall himself; nosy court poet Dipody Distich and Wanda Witch, a bird who pushes a cart marked with "Spells and Curses, 5¢" signage.
King Aroo is celebrated largely among devotees of comics, and appealing to the members of the readership that loved Krazy Kat, Barnaby, Pogo and Little Nemo. The King was the creation of Jack Kent, born in Burlington, Iowa, in 1920. It was probably Kent's lack of formal art training that led to a loose-lined art style, with panels full of characters and activity. It was surely his innate artistic ability that kept those panels from looking cluttered. The strip began in 1950 in national syndication but was discontinued after a few years. It was kept on in limited syndication until 1965 by Stanleigh Arnold's small Golden Gate Features.
The early strips were collected in a 192-page book, King Aroo, published by Doubleday in 1953. The collection had an introduction by Gilbert Seldes. In April 2010, IDW Publishing released the first volume of an intended complete reprint of King Aroo, with the first volume covering dailies and Sundays from 1950 through 1952. The series is edited and designed by Dean Mullaney with biographical text by Bruce Canwell and an introduction by Sergio Aragones. IDW had difficulty locating certain strips, causing the next volume to be delayed; however, by March 2013 the strips of 1953–54 were also available in book form.
Kent and his wife June Kent named their home on the banks of the San Antonio River "King Aroo's Castle."
- Nemo, the Classic Comics Library, #21, August 1986, pp. 5–6
- The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics