Cartoonist Tickles Funny Bone With New Book
August 31, 2011
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.--Pvt. Hazard is about to become even more famous.
Jim Boroch's weekly comic Pvt. Hazard is included in his newly-published book "The Best of Military Cartoons!" along with five other comics.
The book was published by GIPubs.com, located in Madison, and owned by retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Gerecht. It took about six weeks to be printed, a fast turnaround time for most books, because the content already existed and just needed to be placed, Boroch said. The book is available online at http://tinyurl.com/GiPubs and soon will be sold at Exchanges worldwide.
"The publisher already has a professional military books section to fill so even though this is a new type for them, it will be out there soon," Boroch, an operations specialist at the Army Security Assistance Command, said.
He has been drawing Pvt. Hazard since 2003. While stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, Boroch saw an ad asking for a new cartoonist. The idea for Pvt. Hazard was born with five cartoons that he submitted. Since then Boroch has brought Pvt. Hazard to his various duty assignments. The cartoon runs in Redstone Arsenal's Redstone Rocket, the Mountaineer at Fort Carson, Colo., and the Monitor at Fort Bliss, and totals 55,000 subscribers.
"I never thought I wanted to draw comics," Boroch said. "I used to draw a lot but never had a clear path. I was just drawing what inspired me at the moment."
Now that inspiration is used to create Pvt. Hazard's weekly adventures. Boroch works on the comic for about 6 to 8 hours each week, and has done so every week since 2003. He said most of his inspiration comes from his 28 years in the Army, things he hears in meetings or conversations with co-workers.
"Sometimes it's more difficult and I have to brainstorm with my wife Hope," Boroch, a retired chief warrant officer 4, said. "She's a good indicator of if something is funny or not, like if she doesn't laugh immediately I know I need to keep thinking.
"It's funny walking through different areas and I'll see a number of Pvt. Hazard cartoons up in people's cubicles. It's a nice indicator that I'm reaching out to people's funny bone."
Boroch said it wasn't always easy to know what would work and what wouldn't. He learned over the years what editors liked and what they didn't.
"You have to appeal to everyone without stepping on anybody's toes, so you have to find the fine line between funny and acceptable," he said.
As for his other lessons learned, Boroch explained that he still has a constant struggle with finding a good black pen.
"I can't seem to find a pen I like. I've tried just about every type there is out there and they all seem to turn out gray when I scan them in," he said.
Pvt. Hazard has been published in the Redstone Rocket since Boroch moved to Huntsville in 2007.
"Jim Boroch is one of the best military cartoonists ever," Redstone Rocket editor Skip Vaughn said. "His cartoons illustrate his unique blend of humor and artistic skill that transcends the military ranks, entering the realm of entertainment for everyone."
Boroch said he will continue drawing Pvt. Hazard for his military newspapers and if sales of the first book are strong there will be a volume two.
"As long as fans continue to enjoy him I'll keep putting him out," Boroch said. "He will never get a promotion though."