Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, November 12, 2016


I had planned to post a war comic book this week in honor of Veteran's Day but then I stumbled across this little charmer subtitled "The Story of Marine Boot Camp."

Leatherneck, the Marine Corps magazine, explained it much better than I could, and in far fewer words:

"Here is a cartoon booklet especially for boots, prospective boots, and perennial boots.  In 44 outrageous pages, Ted Ritter and Bob Gadbois manage to present an accurate satirical commentary on life -- if you can call it living -- in a Marine Corps boot camp." (Leatherneck, February 1950)

The book was published by Victoria Publications of New York, which was more formally known as the Victoria Military Company.  They published at least three similar books by Ritter and Gadbois (Bet Your Boots, 1948; You've Had It:  The Story of Basic Training, 1950; and Off We Go:  Tjhe story of Air Force Basic Training, 1953), as well as 1945's Johnny Comes Marching Home.  I gather that a lot of these books were handed out as basic training souvenirs.  The authors did several spiral bound books of a similar nature in 1944 concerning a naval air force recruit named Elmore, but there is no indication of who published these.

I did a cursory check of the internet but was not able to find any personal information about either Ritter or Gadbois. Perhaps some out there can help fill in the gaps.

Because of a medical deferment, I did not serve in the armed services (despite a low draft number).  I honor those who did.  And I think that anyone who did serve will appreciate this gentle satire of one's first immersion into military life.


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