Chicago Spanking Review

Popeye #4

---> Comics Gallery 2

Recently we've been viewing newly-discoverd spankings from some of the best of the early comic strips, and certainly E.C. Segar's Popeye, (called Thimble Theatre in its early days) qualifies both as "early" and "excellent". Before saying too much more, let's take a look at the spanking of Olive Oyl by her father, Cole Oyl.

thimble theater strip from 9/07/1928

Thimble Theatre, September 7, 1928. Scan by Sweetspot. © King Features Syndicate

We see at once there are some similarities to Cliff Sterrett's Polly and Her Pals Spanking #1 such as the discussion of the old lie about the spanking hurting the spanker more than the spankee, with Olive forced to admit, "This hurts me more than it does you!" and of course the styles of the two cartoonists. This scene also has something in common with Diana Dane Spanking #2 in which Diana's brother laments not having been present to see their father take her over his knee: Olive's brother here says with anticipation, "Oh boy, this is gonna be good!" after informing on Olive, thus getting her spanked. This is the earliest of the three scenes, however, dating from 1928.

And that brings us to the strip's title, Thimble Theatre, and the mention of "Ham". When Segar created the strip in 1919 for the Hearst Syndicate it was called Thimble Theatre, apparently as an answer to Ed Whelan's Midget Movies, and Popeye wasn't even a minor character in it yet! The stars were Castor Oyl and his pal Ham Gravy, who dated Castor's sister Olive. Popeye was introduced in 1929 when Castor and Ham needed to arrange for a ship to take them overseas, and quickly became so popular that he replaced Ham in the strip - and as Olive's boyfriend.

We have remarked that early American comic strips tended to be "slice of life" as life was at the time. Thimble Theatre, like Polly and Her Pals, took a different approach and was even more fantastic once Popeye took it over. The public loved it, and the rest is history.

cole oyl spanks his daughter olive

The spanking panel - old Cole Oyl lays it on well as Olive's brothers watch with satisfaction. Scan by Sweetspot. © King Features Syndicate. Posted by the Web-Ed on 11/03/2017. © King Features Syndicate

The spanking panel is quite effective by the standard of its purpose - humor. Of course, Olive Oyl is nobody's favorite spankee because she wears a long, shapeless black dress and is just too skinny, but the OTK positioning is good with Olive forced to bend well over papa's lap so that her head is almost touching the floor. As for Mr. Oyl, he may not be a young man any more but it looks like he can still deliver some meaningful strokes with his hand!

This is the first of three Olive spankings discovered by Sweetspot. Next time we'll see what happens when Olive gets in trouble with her father again.

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