Chicago Spanking Review

Kayo Ward Spanks Rupy Lavez

Comics Gallery 2

cover from pep #7

Cover of PEP Comics #7 (August 1940). Art by Irv Novick. Published by MLJ (Archie) and posted by the Web-Ed on 02/18/2011.

There were a surprising number of spankings in PEP Comics, one of which we've already seen (Suzie, in PEP #59) and another of which appears here for the first time on the web. The Shield, MLJ's number one super-hero, was the lead feature and appears on the cover of issue #7, and we'll see more of him later in this series, but the spanking this time took place in a reprint of the boxing strip Kayo Ward which was a backup feature in the magazine.

We discovered this scene as part of the Great Golden Age Comic Spanking Search, but we had previously been alerted to its existence by Sam Swatt creator Dan Rivera, who in a letter to us remembered seeing it decades ago. Here is what Dan had to say:

"I was thinking back, and wondering why you've never been able to find the one where the prizefighter spanks the Latin American movie star? It was quite famous in its day, and was printed in all the papers.

kayo ward spots rupy lavez
"My recollection is that the boxer was either Joe Palooka or else a rip-off of Joe Palooka. Anyway, as I remember it, this was in the late 1930s or early 1940s. The boxer is out walking with his manager, and happens to see a beautiful Latina woman being roughed up by some mean-looking characters.

"Of course Joe (let's call him Joe for now) rushes to the rescue and knocks out the two mean guys.Now, you'd expect the girl to be grateful, right? Not this time. Instead, she turns to Joe and slaps his face! She glares at him and says something like: "So! You dare break up my publicity stunt, eh?" and smacks him. See, Rupy Lavez is a movie star, and she and her publicity guys had set up this "mugging" as a publicity stunt, until the big boxer broke it up.
kayo ward wades in to the fight

kayo ward spanks rupy lavez
"Joe rubs his pained cheek, then says (and this part, I remember very clearly): 'Where I come from, when a gal acts like that, we spank 'em!' And within seconds, he is sitting on some box or other platform, with the girl over his knee, spanking her hard. Some gents passing by take a look at what's happening, and they laugh and say: 'Hey! He's spanking Rupy Lavez!'"

As you can see, Dan remembered all the important details correctly even though a number of years had passed since he'd seen it. The OTK positioning is good and the dust is flying as Kayo lays on the spanks - the only minor drawback is that Rupy's raised left leg slightly obscures our view of her well-proportioned bottom.

Let's take a look at the complete page (story and art by Bob Wood):

complete spanking page

"Where I come from when gals act like that - we spank 'em!"

rupy lavez is impressed by kayo having spanked her

This is not only a good spanking scene, the follow-up is very well done also. First, Rupy rubs her smarting bottom as an unapologetic Kayo tells her, "So long - I hope that taught you a lesson!"

Next, we see that Rupy is attracted to Kayo because he spanked her - what could be more romantic than that? And the spanking even made the newspaper headlines!

kayo ward spanks rupy lavez

"The only man who ever dare to spank Rupy."

So impressed is Rupy that she actually calls up Kayo on the phone and arranges to meet him in the lobby of his hotel. That must have been some spanking!

Now some more about the character of Rupy Lavez. Most modern readers wouldn't know this, but as a cinema buff Dan recognized her immediately as a take-off on the real-life actress Lupe Velez. Dan continued:

"At just about the time this strip was printed, the movies were running films featuring a Mexican star named Lupe Velez. She was notoriously fiery in real life, and her handlers wisely had her play all her roles that way. In one film, called "Hot Pepper" (1933), she was given a pretty good OTK spanking by Victor McLaglen. She was set up for another spanking in a 1943 movie, but it didn't quite happen. Anyway, Lupe Velez was ripe for satirization, as this comic strip shows. Joe Palooka (or whoever he was) is suitably embarrassed by busting up a legitimate movie stunt, and later must face the damsel. She approaches him, stealthily, and says: 'So... you are thee only man who ever dare spank Rupy Lavez, eh?....' What follows is predictable: The two fall in love, and have a brief romance. Brief, because Joe has other comic strips to perform in."

One final note about Bob Wood, who based on what we see here was a fairly capable writer/artist. A couple of years after PEP #7 appeared, Wood edited the very popular (and violent) Crime Does Not Pay for Lev Gleason Publications. Years after that, he was convicted of murder and sent to prison in 1958. Ironically, the editor of Crime Does Not Pay learned himself that, in fact, crime did not pay!

As for Crime Does Not Pay itself, it could not survive the sanitized requirements imposed by the Comics Code Authority in 1954 (see Frontier Romances #1 for discussion) and ceased publication in 1955. We had hoped that perhaps some spanking-type punishments might be inflicted upon the guilty, but a search through its available pages turned up no spankings of the many bad girls who appeared there.

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