Chicago Spanking Review

Glamor Girls Spanking #1

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We have previously seen the impressive work of Don Flowers on Oh, Diana!, but as we mentioned last time, he hated the strip, preferring Modest Maidens which debuted the same year (1930) and for which Flowers is better remembered today. He continued to do both strips until 1942, when his syndicate, Associated Press Features, went to a full-color Sunday section and he was forced to drop Oh, Diana! (see Diana Dane Spanking #3 for what happened to that strip after Flowers left). But another change was in the works: no less a personage than William Randolph Hearst wanted Flowers and Modest Maidens for his King Features Syndicate, and although Flowers resisted for a while, eventually Hearst won him over by offering to double his salary.

One thing Hearst could not buy was the Modest Maidens name, which belonged to AP, so he had Flowers do exactly the same strip under the name "Glamor Girls". Let's see an example of the full-color strip now from January 13 of an unknown year. We found this one on some place called Cartoon Retro but we can't locate a link for it.

glamor girls comic strip January 13 year unknown

Glamor Girls, Jan. 13 (click to increase in size). The year is unknown, but the presence of so much "family" type activity suggests it was late in the strip's run. Art by Don Flowers. © King Features Syndicate

The style is still recognizably that of the same Flowers we saw in Oh, Diana in the 30's and 40's: the same angularity and the same "flowing line" that he was never to lose. It will be noted that his women are generally impeccably dressed (Flowers kept up with the latest fashion styles) and still slender and elegant. We also see that Flowers kept the one-panel format he had been used to and simply did six one-panel cartoons instead of one six-panel comic when he was given more space.

Before comparing Flowers' style to that of other artists, let's take the time to look at the only full-color spanking we have from Glamor Girls. The date on this one, which was found by our old buddy Dave Wolfe (of "Wolfietoons" fame), was illegible but later determined to be January 2, 1943 by Sweetspot.

glamor girls comic strip by don flowers with spanking from dave wolfe

Glamor Girls, from the Sunday January 2, 1943 Washington Star. Art by Don Flowers. © King Features Syndicate

glamor girls birthday spanking panel by don flowers

The spanking panel, enhanced by and posted by the Web-Ed on 06/09/2017. © King Features Syndicate

Unfortunately this low-resolution photo, apparently taken to sell the original strip, does not allow us to fully appreciate all the details. The caption appears to read "Twenty-two, twenty-three - you thought I'd forgotten your birthday, didn't you? - twenty-four, ..." So this is a birthday spanking, but not a paternal one - there's a good chance this is a boyfriend/girlfriend scene, and from the way the pain stars are a-flying, it doesn't look like the spanker has forgotten to make it real!

The OTK position is somewhat flawed by the spanker's knees being too far apart to allow the spankee to be well bent at the waist, and she's almost horizontal across his lap. We'd have to say the Diana Dane spankings were better composed, although we wouldn't go so far as to suggest Flowers had lost any of his technique. Perhaps he simply forgot how the spankee should be positioned. Inconsistency in getting the OTK position right was something we have seen many times with the great Humorama cartoonists.

No sooner had this spanking been posted than once more Sweetspot came to the rescue with a clearer scan:

glamor girls birthday spanking panel by don flowers

The spanking panel, different source located and scanned by Sweetspot (white balance by Web-Ed). © King Features Syndicate.

Now let's examine the concept of the Glamor Girl a little more closely, along with the question of eroticism.

The Glamor Girl in comics is distinguished by her slender, elegant figure, smart wardrobe, and usually a polished rendering. Despite Flowers' great talent and his primacy in the sense that he came before many other cartoonists, we think the king of the Glamor Girl artists still has to be Bill Ward, whose Torchy Todd served as an archetype for so many others, and whose work for Humorama in the 1950's contained further examples though they departed from the Torchy model. Satin and furs are almost de rigueur for the Glamor Girl, and Torchy, seen below at left, does not disappoint, at least as far as the former is concerned. She's a little rounder than Flowers' smartly dressed wife (below at right), but more realistically proportioned than his later women.

bill ward's torchy todd at a dinner party

The archetypal Glamor Girl has to be Bill Ward's Torchy Todd, seen here in an unknown comic book.

glamor girls no whistling after marriage by don flowers

Glamor Girls from Nov. 11 (year unknown), found at kronstadt21.

aky girl sticks out her rear end as usual

The notorious Sky Girl, from Jumbo Comics #80, as enhanced by Web-Ed. The portion of her anatomy receiving the most attention is obvious, especially to the male spankophile. You can't even see her face!

It should be mentioned that the Glamor Girl, while always attractive, is not the same thing as the Good Girl (as in "Good Girl Art"). Good Girl Art implies the subject is sexualized by emphasizing the bosom and behind, usually by thrusting out these portions of the anatomy in a provocative manner. Alex Blum's and Matt Baker's Sky Girl, seen at left, who had the admirable habit of bending over for the flimsiest of reasons, will serve as a fine example of Good Girl Art from the Golden Age of comics. (See our erudite discussion Sky Girl Bends Over for more details).

Don Flowers was, then, a Glamor Girl artist in a double sense, whereas Ward evolved from Torchy Todd in the 1940's to his more sexualized "good girls" in the 50's (Humorama, etc.) who were actually something of a hybrid of the two types (more on this next time when we discuss Flowers' late period). This makes him, despite his great skill, a somewhat less ideal spanking artist than either the Good Girl artists from comics or the Big Six spanking cartoonists of Humorama's classic period (1955-60) in that they supplied their spankees with rounder and more ample bottoms.

And that brings to mind an interesting question: why didn't Flowers freelance to Humorama? We'll speculate on the answer and consider what might have been next time.

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