Chicago Spanking Review

Crime and Justice #1

Comics Gallery 2

cover of crime and justice #1

Crime and Justice #1. Cover art by Art Gates. Published by Charlton (as Law and Order Magazines, Inc.) and posted by the Web-Ed on 10/14/2011.

In the early postwar period, superhero comics declined rapidly to be replaced by the Western, Romance, Science-Fiction, Horror, War, and Crime genres. Of these, Romance proved the most fertile ground for spanking scenes and Horror & Sci-Fi the least, with the others somewhere in between. It depends to a great extent on how we define their boundaries - are The Saint #5 and Little Al of the Secret Service #10 crime comics? To Fredric Wertham, everything was a crime comic. He loathed them, and "erotic spanking" in comics as well - what a killjoy! (More about Wertham's anti-comics campaign can be found in Frontier Romances #1). In comparison to old-fashioned Adventure and Superhero fare, the new Crime Comics tended to be somewhat lurid, even gruesome, in their depiction of the activities of the criminal class.

Our view is that The Saint fell more into the Action/Adventure/Superhero category and Little Al was right on the borderline, but our next example, Crime and Justice #1 (March 1951), along with the previous Women Outlaws #2 are most definitely crime comics.

The standard crime comic featured major crimes (and punishments), so spanking was probably not seen as a serious enough penalty for the female criminals who put in an appearance. Luckily for us, in "Diabolical Pipeline" Ann Johnson is not a criminal, but rather the daughter of one of two business partners who employ her boyfriend, Tod Blakely. And running around with a man her father doesn't approve of is a good enough reason to spank her!

crime and justice #1 splash page

Ann's father hauls her away under his arm. Next stop: the woodshed!

crime and justice #1 pre-spanking

Someone's in trouble now!

"This is the only way I could ever handle you!" says her father as he lays on the spanks. Apparently, this isn't the first time Ann has been spanked by her father, and it probably won't be the last, either. Worth of note is Ann's "Ouch!" as her fanny makes contact with the hard wood floor, and her telling her father's partner Mr. Higgins that the spanking is "none of his business," which suggests that it may be o.k. with her after all. In fact, from the way she slaps the foreman only a few panels later you'd think she was deliberately asking for another spanking!

crime and justice #1 spanking page
spanking panel from crime and justice #1

Neither story nor art are particularly distinguished, and both the writer and artist are unknown. Nonethelss, the OTK positioning is quite good, and Ann's protest, "I'm not a child!" is weak and unconvincing, as if she felt obligated to make it without quite believing her own words. The way the writer and artist have depicted the spanking we get the impression (intended or not) that while Ann doesn't agree with her father about her choice of boyfriends, she does recognize that she deserves to be spanked, if only for her stubborn, willful nature. As we pointed out above, this idea is supported by the way she told Mr. Higgins that her spanking was "none of his business!" - i.e., that it was a private matter. Significantly, she did not thank him for interfering and cutting her punishment short.

All in all, a pretty good father/daughter scene.

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