Zoot Gremlin. - (Latin: Hepcatus Gremlinicus)
• About this Gremlin: A Golden Gremlin that dresses in the most 'bombastic' suits and literal "parachute pants", said to loiter around tailors & ruin the form and fit of military uniforms, they stretch out hand knit sweaters (they're also to blame for dropped stitches & missing buttons and sewing pins!) They're especially fond of messing with sewing machines. - Despite how fashionable they may appear, make no mistake, its said that their influence was to blame for 'sloppy' fashion trends among teenagers. - if it looks like the wind is billowing through an aviators outfit, don't blame the solider or the tailor, it was the fault of the Zoot Gremlin!!
• History: The 'Zoot' gremlin was one of many Gremlins drawn as part of "Gremlin Americanus" [Sloane, 1942] with apparent correspondence from Captain W. J. Donovan of the C.A.P - The entry goes as follows:
"Zoot Gremlin... The Zoot Gremlin frequents tailor shops, however fashionable. He loiters there, lurking for chances to ruin the best made and best fitted military uniforms. He loves, especially to spoil the form and fit of an aviators outfit.
Whenever a good looking soldier comes by with slacks that look like the wind is billowing through them, don't blame the soldier. That is the way the Zoot gremlin cut the cloth while the tailor was not looking.
Often when a friend or sweetheart knits a sweater for a flier the gremlin arranges the gremlin arranges somehow to make the design and shape and six unsuitable.
Often as you fall asleep in the barbers chair, the Zoot gremlin pushes the barbers arm and the result is 'cowboy' or 'crew haircut.'"
Dear Eric – As a leading gremlinologist the C. A. P. boys want you to know the zoot suit gremlins like we do, we have our suits made only at antigremlinated tailors. Truthfully yours, - Capt. W. J. Donovan C. A. P."
"Zoot suits" during the war where most notable for their use as a cultural symbol among various "Hepcat" cultures (Hence this gremlins Latin name.) - Originating in the 1930's, the outfits where popularized by jazz and jump blues singers. During WWII The suits where adopted by Mexican-American Pachucho culture as a form of protest. --During the rationing of World War II, the outfits were criticized as a wasteful use of cloth, with wool being rationed. - Notably, The Zoot Suit Riots - a confrontation between pachucos and U.S. servicemen in Los Angeles - Would happen in June the year after this book was published. (mostly unrelated but just an interesting historic note and worth mentioning as it means this is probably a political cartoon.)
Although I couldn't find too many other recorded parallels (at least in an 'Army/Aviation context.' about "Zoot Gremlins" or "Tailor or Barber Gremlins" for that matter. --(I suppose its also possible that these 'Zoot Gremlins' where only spoken about orally.)-- I was able to find at least two mentions of similar Gremlins in a couple 1942 newspapers, one about a 'fraternal branch of gremlins' that where supposedly in colleges & training academys: One of which encourages 'sloppy' style fads among students: getting girls to "wear their sweaters inside out' & 'yanking on boys socks" causing them to be worn improperly.' –
- [Full Clipping here: https://www.newspapers.com/article/the-knoxville-news-sentinel/132127447/ ]
of course there are dozens of fairytales about fairies and fae that mess with clothing and such as well (leprochauns being shoe cobblers for example.) - Rhea Talleys short article on gremlins which makes the most sense of it overall though: