Chicago Spanking Review

Modern Love #3

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cover of modern love #3

Modern Love #3 (October-November 1949). Published by EC. Cover art by Al Feldstein. From the collection of and posted by the Web-Ed on 02/21/2014 (click to double-size). © William M. Gaines

It took us several years to track down our next example, for this was another case where we suspected there might be a spanking panel but had to actually find an affordable copy of the book to verify it. That wasn't easy in the case of Modern Love #3 because like other EC titles of the period, it's rare and valuable. In fact, to the comics collector, this would be the most interesting of the four comics we're presenting during Romantic Spanking Month simply because it is an EC publication. (For more about EC, see I Was A Flirt and The Effects of the Comics Code on Spanking Part 1).

EC was never a major romance publisher, having only three short-lived titles as far as we know, all running from 1949-50: this one (Modern Love), A Moon, A Girl, Romance, and Saddle Romances. Yet with known spankings in the first two, we have to wonder if there might be one more lurking somewhere in the three issues of Saddle Romances. That's a question we'll have to settle another day, so for now let's take a look at "Love Must be Earned" and our rich, pampered spankee-to-be Toy Bassett.

The opening caption tells us that Toy was "tired of parties, of nightclubs, of suave men who pampered and petted her." Now, "petting" was a subject that occasionally came up on the advice page of romance comics, making the use of "petted" here just a little strange. Is it possible the writer didn't catch the double-meaning? We think so, because while we'll never know for sure, the story may have been written by either Johnny Craig or Al Feldstein, both of whom wrote and edited for EC as well as drawing for it - in fact, Feldstein drew this issue's cover and lead story, while Craig drew the second story - but neither of these men was in any way a romance specialist.

love must be earned splash page

Art by John Sink. © William M. Gaines

Our story opens with Toy driving her sports car recklessly down the street, almost hitting Bob Beatty. "You ought to be turned over and spanked!" says Bob to an indignant Toy. And he's no maker of idle threats, for a moment later over his knee she goes!
love is blind spanking page

"A flush of humiliation to her cheeks"(!) - this is the second possible double-entendre in the script. Did the writer intend to allude to Toy's reddening bottom? We'll probably never know for sure. © William M. Gaines

modern love #3 spanking panel

Toy's cheeks flush. © William M. Gaines

A close-up of the spanking panel. Rather strange camera angle, and the whole scene is more impressionistic that realistic. John Sink, who did the art, was probably brought in for occasional assignments at EC. He was certainly not a mainstay during the company's famous New Trend period, which began only a few months after this issue was published, but he was at least a decent artist who drew other romance titles for Harvey. Unlike Feldstein or Craig, he does seem to have specialized in the romance genre.

modern love #3 after the spanking panel

Toy fumes at having had her fanny warmed, but eventually realizes she deserved it. © William M. Gaines

Toy resents the humiliating spanking she received, but she eventually comes around after he saves er live at a yacht party she's thrown. There are a few other complications, and while we'd love to show you the story's final panel with the two of them together, we can't - we don't have the last page! That's probably why we were able to get this copy at a decent price. But it's safe to say they wound up happy together, because that's the way these things always worked out.

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