John Miles was the son of a policeman, and was born on 21 August 1934 in the police station at Glastonbury, Somerset. He was educated at various schools in Somerset, and in about 1949 spent one term at Yeovil Art School. After National Service in the Army in Germany, from about 1952 to 1954, he began work as a designer, especially of typography. He spent many years in the display department of companies such as C&V Clark (shoes) and May & Baker (pharmaceuticals), and while living in Bermuda, from 1964 to 1967, produced alphabet designs and logos for the Island Press and Creative Signs.
While working in Bermuda Miles also drew weekly editorial/political cartoons for the Bermuda Sun. He then returned to Britain and painted murals for Longleat House from 1967 to 1970, as well as working as a freelance cartoonist. He was best known for his internationally-syndicated strip "Perkins", which featured a bald moustachioed man. The strip was entirely wordless, contained from one to four panels, and was signed "J.Miles". It was originally entitled "Cicero", and was launched in the Sunday Times on 14 April 1968 - the first regular strip to appear in that paper. It later moved to the Daily Express, and then to the Hampstead & Highgate Express, before the Register & Tribune Syndicate in the USA took charge of its worldwide distribution (except for the Far East).
The series ran until 1980, and in total Miles drew more than 4,000 "Perkins" strips. Four collections of the cartoons were published in book form. Other syndicated works included "MicroMouse", "Rumpuss", "Depussy", and "Figures of Speech" (which ran from 1980 to 1992). He also had cartoons published in She Magazine, Daily Mirror, Punch, Dandy, Woman's Realm, Radio Times, Sunday Times and the Daily Express amongst others. Miles won a prize for his cartoons at the Montreal Salon of Cartoons in about 1972, but also painted portraits. He died in Bath on 8 February 1998.
1 uncatalogued original [PU1432]
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