Chicago Spanking Review

Candy Gets Spanked in Ted's Imagination

The last of Candy's spankings is the most unusual, taking place only in the imagination of her boyfriend Ted. It's a rather mediocre spanking on its own merits, but when was the last time we saw a teen-age character in comics who fantasized about spanking his girlfriend? His fantasy is not entirely healthy, however, as we shall see. Let's take a look at how this unusual situation came about.

This is from Candy #39 (June 1953). Candy and Ted are playing a tennis match against Randy, who takes them on without a partner. Candy carelessly whacks Ted in the head and seems attracted to the randy Randy, accepting his invitation to the dance and leaving Ted fuming. In the last panel, Ted uses his racquet to beat some rugs for his mother, while in his mind paddling Candy and Randy!

spanking page from candy #39

Story and art by Harry Sahle. Published by Quality. Posted by the Web-Ed on 11/26/2010.

Now, there's nothing wrong with Ted fantasizing about paddling Candy, especially after her behavior on the tennis court. After all, many years ago when we were his age, we fantasized about paddling girls we dated (and girls we didn't date, and pretty female teachers, and superheroines, and - well, you get the idea). But it's a little strange of Ted to imagine Candy bent over a net while he whacks her with a tennis racquet, and it's very strange to imagine his rival Randy alongside her. We'll give him a pass on using a tennis racquet, which makes a poor implement, because of his youth and inexperience. (He should have used a platform tennis paddle, which works well indeed).

This wouldn't be a great spanking scene even if Randy weren't in it, because Sahle did several things to lessen the impact of the spanking: the panel (the important part, anyway) is too small, the target region is poorly defined, and we can't see Candy's face as the swats are applied. Probably the best thing about this spanking is that Candy deserved it, just as she deserved the other two.

This is not quite the end of the story. Comics sales were declining rapidly during this period, and Quality eventually begin running reprint issues in Candy instead of new stories (Harry Sahle's death, which occurred during this time, may also have had something to do with the decision to go reprint as Quality was winding down). This story was reprinted near the end of the line, in Candy #62 (April 1956), but with an interesting difference in the spanking panel. Below we can compare the two:

candy #39 spanking panel

The spanking panel from Candy #39.

candy #62 spanking panel

The spanking panel from Candy #62.

Instead of holding the racquet and applying it to Candy's bottom as he did in #39, issue #62 has him throwing the racquet and striking Randy's rear! So why would they have gone to the trouble of doing this when it only diminishes an already mediocre spanking? Less than three years had gone by between the original appearance (1953) and the reprint (1956). Something must have happened during this time, but what?

The covers provide the answer. Here they are:

candy #39 cover

The cover of Candy #39.

candy #62 cover

The cover of Candy #62. Note the CCA's seal of approval.

What happened was the Comics Code Authority (CCA) in 1954, which we discussed at some length in Frontier Romances #1. We mentioned there that despite Wertham's condemnation of what he called "sexual flagellation upon the buttocks", the code did not seem to have much effect on spanking in the comics, but that was before we saw this. Obviously, the code did have an effect here - what we don't know is whether the editor ordered the change before the Code administrator reviewed the story in a kind of pre-emptive capitulation, or whether he did so after the administrator concluded the original panel violated the code's standards (which did not explicitly mention spanking, but did forbid sadism and sex perversion).

If it was pre-emptive capitulation, it's possible that the post-1954 era gave us less spankings than it would have without the code - food for thought. Riley over at agrees that the panel must have been redrawn because of the CCA, and has expressed some of his own opinions about Wertham in an article entitled "Collecting Spanking Panels".

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