Chicago Spanking Review

Diana Dane Spanking #2

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Last time we saw Diana Dane receive a good spanking from her father. Let's skip ahead now 18 months into the future, from 1936 to 1938, where we find - Diana receiving a good spanking from her father! We note in passing that the strip's name has been changed from Diana Dane to Oh, Diana for reasons that are unknown.

The circumstances are a little different this time - Diana presumes to improve her father, saying it's up to her to teach him some dignity, whereupon he decides to teach her to have more respect for her elders! The spanking is absolutely justified and, we think, badly needed. In fact, one characteristic we will see in Flowers' later work is that his girls often needed a spanking even when they didn't get one, which was most of the time.

oh diana (dane) comic strip may 2 1938

Oh, Diana, 05/02/1938 (click to increase in size). Art by Don Flowers. Note how perfectly Flowers captures Diana's haughty sense of superiority in panel 3.

oh diana (dane) comic strip may 3 1938

Oh, Diana, 05/03/1938 (click to increase in size). Interestingly, her brother says he'd have liked to see Diana get spanked. Did he forget he saw her previous spanking less than two years earlier? Perhaps it was Flowers who forgot.

oh diana (dane) comic strip may 4 1938

Oh, Diana, 05/04/1938 (click to increase in size). Scans by Sweetspot as enhanced by Web-Ed.

Diana decides not to leave home after all. Pops says that she "can dish it out, but she can't take a li'l spankin' herself" - does that mean that she gave some spankings (Sweetspot hasn't found any) or merely that she can strike out verbally?

We mentioned last time that Diana had the wildness of the "flapper" and that like all flappers she needed to be spanked. However, fashion-conscious readers will see immediately that in one respect Diana doesn't resemble a flapper: she doesn't dress like one. In fact, she dresses (and looks) like a high-fashion model. She's as tall as her brother and elegantly proportioned, something like Bill Ward's later Torchy but not quite as round, and certainly less so than Bill Wenzel's much-later zaftig girls of the 50's. And this is important, for the thin, elegant fashion model seems to have been Flower's ideal because she appears throughout his work.

cover of life magazine march 10 1927 art by Russell Patterson

The cover of Life magazine from March 10, 1927. Art by Russell Patterson. Since we seem to be on a fashion kick, note that the flapper is wearing a very short skirt - one of her identifying features.

What earlier artists influenced Flowers' style is difficult to determine without help. He mentions Russell Patterson, Gilbert Wilson, and Garret Price. We have a sample of Patterson's work at left: there is certainly an angularity and elegance on display, together with minimal lines although the flapper is downright skinny. Perhaps Flowers took the minimalism and angularity and added to it what is often referred to as his "fluid line". We've never heard a definition of what that means, though.

To us, Flowers' characters look as if they were drawn with very long strokes - that is, as if the artist knew where the line was going and didn't have to stop and pause along the way to see how it looked. We're not saying that Flowers actually did draw that way, only that that's how it looks. A reasonable definition of Flowers' fluidity? CSR readers can decide.

oh diana (dane) comic strip may 2 1938 spanking panel

The spanking panel. (click to increase in size).

The spanking panel may not be the best example of what we're trying to get at. Part of the problem is Diana's black dress, which obscures a great deal. The minimalism is obvious - see how both Diana and her father's expressions are conveyed with very few lines? But the "flowing line" is perhaps more apparent in Diana's brother, or in her first spanking from 1936 where Diana is wearing a dress that isn't all black.

The OTK position is about the same as in Spanking #1, and Papa looks like he's laying it on pretty good! This is another very significant find that no one had ever suspected existed, so once again it's hats off to Sweetspot for discovering it.

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