Bill Ward Shirtsleeve Spanking

man in shirtsleeves spanks woman

Posted by the Web-Ed on 07/02/2010 (click to enlarge)

Next in our Bill Ward blowout, we have a very serious-looking spanking! The spanker has rolled up his sleeves and is concentrating on delivering some good hard smacks to the satin-encased spankee, and Ward's OTK positioning is better than usual. In fact, he may have originally drawn a hairbrush in the picture, for there is an editorial note in the right margin that says, "take out hairbrush". [More than two years after this was written, we found that there was indeed a hairbrush - see below. -- Web-Ed]

This is an unusually large and high-quality scan of the original art. Ward's original caption read "The seat of learning" (we think). Like most of the other Humorama artists (except Bill Wenzel), Ward knew the editor would rewrite whatever he suggested, so he probably didn't spend a lot of time thinking this one up. The editor in this case rewrote it three times (twice on one occasion and the third in blue pencil, probably later):

  1. Determined to put a finishing touch to the end!
  2. A smart finish for a smarting end.
  3. "You're right, honey, when it comes to knowing what's on a guy's mind, I gotta hand it to you"

This is definitely one of Ward's better spanking cartoons.

man in shirtsleeves spanks woman

Posted by the Web-Ed on 01/11/2013 (click to increase in size)

01/11/2013 Update: Steve W. forwarded his scan of this cartoon as it appeared in the February, 1957 issue of Breezy. Not that the caption is generally the point of greatest interest, but thanks to Steve we now know that the third version listed above was the one originally used. Steve also pointed out that he could see on the original art where Ward had at first drawn in a hairbrush, and we've followed up on his observation below.

close up of hand

Close-up of the spanking hand.

At top left is a blow-up of the spanking hand. We couldn't see the hairbrush at first, but just below the fifth finger were the unmistakable outlines of both fourth and fifth fingers curled around something. Stepping back a bit, we eventually made out an oval shape projecting up and to the right, and this of course was the hairbrush. We added some gray tracing (bottom left) to help readers see the hairbrush and redrawn hand.

Why did editor Abe Goodman want the hairbrush removed? It was certainly recognized as a common spanking implement, and Goodman himself wrote a spanking prose piece in which an "ornate paddle" was used on a secretary's bottom. The year before, Goodman had removed a billy club from the hand of a spanking cop, but a club is too severe a spanking implement whereas the hairbrush is generally acceptable, and Ward drew another cartoon in which a hairdresser gets spanked with her own hairbrush only a few months later, so it's hard to see what the objection was here. Another difference is that Goodman removed the cop's billy club by rather crudely altering a photostatic copy (Dan Rivera spotted it immediately, long before we discovered the original version), while Ward himself did the far more skillful alterations to the original art in this case, apparently drawing a second mountain in the painting on the wall to help obscure the hairbrush, realizing that the printing process would never pick up the lines he'd erased. If you check Steve's scan, you'll see he was right - the changes don't show up on the printed page.

close up of hand with gray tracing

The original outline of the hand closed around a hairbrush, still faintly visible, with gray tracing over them for emphasis.


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