Friday, December 18, 2009

PVT. ZILCH - Rare 1968 Cartoon Book

The MORE ZILCH book was the last of the Zich stuff . . by then, the Vietnam war was raging and a military solution to solving problems was not very popular and the streets were full of sometimes educated long haired Rock and Rolling left leaning reefer people to make the statement that all wars are immoral.  ( Cheeez, where were these guys during a Genghis Khan ( Chinggis Khaan ) "coming home parade" after a recent pillaging ) Hm-m-?

I notice this old book of mine recently posted on ebay by someone who wants to sell it for $85.00.

Originally it retailed for $1.00.  I have one good copy on my bookshelf left.  My, I wish they would have sold for $85.00 in 1968.

The way this happened was that while stationed on Okinawa with the Marines in 55-56-57 I was assigned to Headquarters G-3 Intelligence with the Third Marine Division at Camp Hague ( Named after a Corporal Hague, a Marine hero in the battle of Okinawa in '45 ) . . At that time I was drawing this character, Pvt Zilch in a comic panel for the Division Newspaper, The Triad, a weekly paper which was published for the troops on the island by The Star-News Publishing company owned by a U.S. civilian, Jim Servites.  This printer also published other newspapers throughout the island.  Jim, being an entrepenuer, noticed my cartoons and gave me a phone call one day and asked me if I was interested in him publishing a book of cartoons about Pvt. Zilch and where I could make a few bucks.  I jumped at the chance, I think it was 10% of the retail price, $1.00, and would be sold only on the island in military PXs and commissaries.  Since I didn't have enough material for a book, I created a whole bunch of cartoons aimed expressly for the troops . . many were inside jokes . . very corny and very bad . . I only have ONE book left on my shelf with a partial torn cover ( shown here ) and one without a cover.

This was actually the FIRST book on Zilch ever published, and was sold only on the island. 

So what happened, apparently a book publishing company, Charles Tuttle Publishers, who had many titles in the military Pxs throughout the far east saw the Pvt.Zilch book and gave me a phone call about publishing a collection of cartoons based on this ( corny ) character Pvt . Zilch.  They said they had a good distribution network throughout the far east and I jumped again at the chance. The book as I said sold for a buck and I received royalty checks for a couple years. 

Since it did fairly well, Tuttle asked for a sequel and so I did More Zilch, another 5x7 pocket book for Tuttle in 1970., whih also sold for a buck.

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