Troubador Press: Zodiac Coloring Book (1969)

Zodiac Troubador 1969

Zodiac Troubador 1969-2

Zodiac Troubador 1969-3

Zodiac Troubador 1969-4

Zodiac Troubador 1969-5

Zodiac Troubador 1969-6

I’ve talked about several Troubador books so far: The Official AD&D Coloring Album (1979), the Science Fiction Anthology (1974), Tales of Fantasy (1975), and Space WARP (1978).

According to Wikipedia, artist-designer Malcolm Whyte “founded Troubador Press in 1959 as a job printer and designer/printer of greetings cards.” The San Francisco company published its first book—The Fat Cat Coloring and Limerick Book—in 1967.

Troubador Fat Cat 1967

Troubador Fat Cat 1967-2

Troubador continued to target the booming counterculture, specializing in intricately illustrated children’s educational books and alternative cookbooks. More esoteric material followed. Dennis Redmond illustrated the psychedelic Zodiac Coloring Book above, and the weirdest item in the company’s canon, The Occult Coloring Book (1971), was illustrated by Japanese-American Gompers Saijo, who was interned with his family in Pomona and Wyoming during World War II.

Troubador OCB

It’s easy to bash the hippies today, but credit where credit is due: they’re the ones who embraced and cultivated the kind of cerebral sci-fi that led to Roddenberry’s Star Trek and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and they’re the ones who pulled The Lord of the Rings into popular culture. “Frodo Lives!” was an enduring hippie meme before anyone else knew where Middle Earth was.

(Images via eBay, Etsy, and the Countercultural Books Wiki)

12 Responses to “Troubador Press: <em>Zodiac Coloring Book</em> (1969)”


  1. 1 leftylimbo August 14, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Holy crap! The Occult Coloring Book. Dood. I wish I could see what was inside. Classic.

  2. 2 2W2N August 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve never actually seen one for sale, but I guarantee you it comes with a hefty price tag.

  3. 4 2W2N August 14, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I have this bookmarked. Not all the books are rare. I just got a copy of Space Warp for less than $10 (YES!). I think they’re all saved in the archives because Whyte graduated from Cornell and Troubador was a really influential publisher.

  4. 5 Malcolm Whyte September 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Great to see these old books being appreciated – again! I’m the publisher of old Troubador Press and have some mint copies of some of these books.

    (I’m not on FaceBook, linkdIn , etc)


  1. 1 1973 Troubador Press Catalog: ‘Presenting a Colorful World for Creative People!’ | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on June 2, 2014 at 11:52 am

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