Chicago Spanking Review

Popular Teen-Agers #14

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spanking from Popular Teen-Agers #14

From Popular Teen-Agers #14 (November 1952). © Star Publications. Enhanced by Spiritworks Studio. Posted by the Web-Ed on 06/18/2010.

Proceeding with our survey of "The Seven Spankings" (comic-book spankings which were known to a small group of us back in the 70's) let's take a look at the 4th of them, from Popular Teen-Agers #14 (November 1952 is the date given by the Spirit, and it is probably correct - it would have to have been somewhere in the period 1951-53. Publication dates for Star are a little uncertain). Once again we are indebted to The Spirit, who managed to track this one down (no mean feat in itself) and redo it.

cover of Popular Teen-Agers #14

Cover art by L. B. Cole.

Here is the issue's cover, which as usual gives no hint as to the spanking inside. We mentioned in connection with Campus Loves #5 that there had been some confusion over the interior contents; this time, the confusion is over the title, and you may occasionally see it referred to as Secrets of Love based on the cover. However, since "secrets of love" does not appear in the indicia, it must have been merely a sub-title.

interior spanking from Popular Teen-Agers #14

© Star Publications.

interior spanking from Popular Teen-Agers #14

Here are the spankings from the splash page (top) and interior (bottom) as enhanced by Spiritworks Studio. The art is credited to Wallace Wood, but we can't confirm that. One source credits the story to Harrison/Wood and is unclear about the art, but we can't confirm that either. Star Publications was not one of the major publishing houses, and we're not aware of any books or other scholarship about them, so it's difficult to nail these down.

The spanking is pretty good, though, and it's shown twice, just as the ones from Campus Loves and The Spirit were - it's interesting how the spanking scenes were considered exciting enough to be featured on the splash pages. "I was a shrew!" admits the girl, in the title. "It's about time somebody took you in hand!" says the man, and this is a good "taken in hand" type of romantic spanking. He also admonishes her, "Remember to act like a lady, or I'll spank you again." And this causes her to behave herself - excellent!

spanking panel from Popular Teen-Agers #14

The interior spanking panel from Popular Teen-Agers #14 (November 1952). Posted by the Web-Ed on 02/26/2016.

02/26/2016 Update: Thanks to the fabulous collection of JVJ, we finally have a complete set of scans from this book and can answer some of the questions we've had (thanks to JVJ, and Soothsayer, Movielover, and Novus for creating/editing the scans). First, the date was indeed November, 1952 which is important for reasons we'll explain in a moment. Second, we can follow the story now, and we include four full pages below. Two big mysteries remain, however: (1) Is the art partly or completely by Wally Wood, and (2) Is this book a reprint from several years earlier? (Ripley discovered that much or all of Star's output was reprint).

Popular Teen-Agers #14 I was a Shrew page1

Page 1. We meet our spankee-to-be, Carla Bartley, a self-admitted shrew! Once again we have the spanking shown on the splash page as well as on an interior page just as we did in True Brides Experiences #16, a testament to the dramatic interest of a spanking scene.

Popular Teen-Agers #14 I was a Shrew page4

Page 4. A truck driver, Peter McMann, makes his appearance at Carla's father's grocery, having heard of Carla's shrewish reputation and being determined to tame her. Hmmm - sounds a bit like Petruchio and Katherine from The Taming of the Shrew, does it not?

Popular Teen-Agers #14 I was a Shrew page5

Page 5. Mr. Bartly shakes Peter's hand, and when he sees him through the window spanking Carla, he clasps his hands overhead in a gesture of triumph - this is a great bit we hadn't seen before this.

Popular Teen-Agers #14 I was a Shrew page9

Page 9. Carla causes some trouble and a temporary break-up, but in the end there's a happy double-wedding - all due to the wondrous power of spanking to tame a shrew!

cover of Strange Worlds #4 art by Wallace Wood

The cover of Strange Worlds #4 (September 1951). Art by Wood - and this isn't even his best! (Click to increase in size).

Finally, we return to the questions we asked earlier: (1) Is the art partly or completely by Wally Wood, and (2) Is the book reprint? In this case it isn't just that we strive to learn as much about the personnel involved in a comic-book spanking for the sake of completeness, a M/F spanking scene by Wood would be big news, because he's one of the greatest comic-book artists of all time and is reknowned for drawing beautiful women. The cover of Strange Worlds #4 (Sept. 1951) gives some idea of what he could do (for an even better example, see Doctor Cylon's take on his character Sally Forth in which we show not only Sally but Wood's art for the cover of Weird Science #13). On his index card for this issue, JVJ credits the art to Wood, but we're not convinced - it certainly doesn't look like Wood's pencilling (part of Page 1 reminds us of Jim Mooney), and he wouldn't have had time to be doing any new work for Star in 1952 as he was very busy by then at EC and Avon.

On the other hand, Wood excelled at inking and often inked other artists, not so much because he wanted to as because he needed the money. We read in an interview with one of his assistants many years ago that his skill with the pen and brush was so great he sometimes inked without pencil guidelines - an unheard-of procedure back in the old days when pencils had to be inked to be dark enough for the traditional printing presses. We also know that Wood's early work was lettering, backgrounds, and inking for Fox romance comics, and we have always suspected that Fox was the source for much if not all of Star's material.

So "I Was a Shrew" could have been published by Fox in the late 40's and then reprinted by Star very shortly afterward in 1952, strange as that sounds. The only problem is that neither the ol' Web-Ed nor any other researcher has yet been able to nail any of this down, due largely to the scarcity of Fox comics. But we'll keep looking as we find this spanking scene, and Star's publishing history, completely fascinating, and if we ever find the answers you can count on reading about it right here!

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