Chicago Spanking Review

Weird Spankings #11: Dratt that Plastic Man!

plastic man spanks dr. dratt

From Police Comics #42 (May 1945). Story and Art by Jack Cole. Published by Quality Comics. Posted by the Web-Ed on 10/29/2010.

Before Mr. Fantastic, Elongated Man, or Elastic Lad there was Plastic Man. As we mentioned here, he was introduced in Police Comics #1 and became one of the greatest of all super-heroes. Last time we made a passing reference to "Plastic Man's madcap adventures" and there really was nothing like them. The man behind their blend of humor and crime-busting was Jack Cole, one of comics' all-time greats, and we'll have a little more to say about him in a moment.

We had high hopes of discovering a spanking somewhere in Plas's adventures, but given the strip's style, it was probably inevitable that any spanking scene would be of the humorous variety. That in turn meant it would be M/M, given the Golden Age's tendency to see male spanking as funny instead of a) pathetic or b) gay. And so it came to pass that we found Plas spanking the diminutive Dr. Dratt in the middle of a zany sequence in which Dratt had attempted to murder Plas several times.

plastic man spanks dratt in police comics #42

The complete page 8.

Here we have the complete page. Spanking an undersized opponent seems to have been a common theme during the Golden Age, as we saw recently with Captain Future and a while back with Rockman. Unfortunately, we're going to be seeing more of it as this series continues.

There was one other spanking from Plas's strip, but it was later, in Police Comics #61, and it didn't involve Plas himself. Refer to the Comics Spanking Data Base for details.

spanking reference in jack cole cartoon signed as jake

Jack Cole's talents allowed him to expand his horizons beyond four-color comics after Plastic Man, who had lasted longer than most super-heroes, ceased publication in 1956. He did some B & W cartoons for Humorama under the pseudonym "JAKE," some others in full color for Playboy under his own name, and finally in 1958 he sold his strip Betsy and Me to the Chicago Sun-Times Syndicate. He seemed to be at the absolute pinnacle of success for a comics creator. (We are not aware of any true spanking cartoons among his Humorama or Playboy work, by the way).

And yet something was terribly wrong. You can't see any sign of trouble in this spanking-themed cartoon from one of the Humorama digests (notice how completely different from Plastic Man the style is here), but under the mask of laughter, Cole was a deeply sensitive man. When he couldn't keep up with the demand for Plastic Man stories, he actually broke into tears. Exactly what was troubling him in 1958 is not known, although we have our suspicions, but on August 15 of that year he took his own life. Only one man still living probably knows the truth: Hugh Hefner, who received a note from Cole, the contents of which have never been revealed.

To indicate the high esteem in which Cole was held, we need only note that when Playboy's Classic Cartoons of the '50's was published, it was dedicated "To the memory of Jack Cole".

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