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Chicago Spanking Review Special Series

The Humorama Spanking Cartoons!

#164 - George Morrice Newlywed Spanking #2

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cover of march 1956 issue of Snappy

The cover of Snappy (March 1956). From the collection of and posted by the Web-Ed on 04/24/2015 (Click to double-size).

Once we started the Humorama Cover Gallery back in 2012, we became less likely to show the cover of the digest (or magazine, in the case of the 70's cartoons) in which a cartoon first appeared when presenting it as part of this series, perhaps because we figured it was already available and, after all, most of Humorama's covers were pretty much alike. But as we are returning now late in the series to Humorama's classic period it makes sense to remind everyone just what this era looked like.

First, Snappy was digest-sized, meaning that a cartoon presented at full-page size was being treated with a certain respect in the sense it was large enough to appreciate the artist's work. As we know, the cartoons were in black & white while the covers were tinted in one color, in this case red. There was usually a pretty girl somewhere in sight, shown in conjunction with some silly play on words (here Iris Bristol is seated on a stool and captioned "Stool Pitchin'!", a play on "stool pigeon" that makes very little sense when you stop to think about it). Possibly editor Abe Goodman figured that most readers would be too busy staring at the models to think about analyzing the captions. Cartoons from the big guns Bill Ward, Bill Wenzel, Kirk Stiles, Dan DeCarlo etc. were often prominently featured (Ward's work is seen here), and even spanking cartoons made the cover not infrequently.

Scholastic-minded readers will recall that in the course of our survey of the Humorama spanking cartoons, we have learned that after some tentative forays in the direction of spanking during 1954 and the first OTK spanking in 1955, the lid really came off in 1956, with most of the "spankers" appearing between 1956 and 1960 inclusive, after which time things suddenly changed at Humorama. So let's go back to March 1956 now and see what was already George Morrice's second effort at depicting a husband spanking his wife on their honeymoon.

george morrice man spanks wife on honeymoon cartoon

Art by George Morrice. From Snappy (March 1956). (Click to double-size).

The gag here is that the new husband now has the conjugal authority to spank his wife for past offenses that he couldn't deal with at the time they were committed because he was only a boyfriend then. This is not a particularly inspired gag, and certainly not as good as Morrice's first honeymoon spanking which appeared only two months earlier in the Jan. 1956 Gee-Whiz. In that cartoon, it will be recalled, the husband is trying to get the marriage off to a good start (just as his mother advised!). This husband seems far more peevish and certainly holds a grudge - even the most die-hard fans of wife-spanking must feel a little sorry for the wife here. Another drawback is the lack of the OTK position, which again the earlier cartoon featured. Nothing wrong with the bending-over position, of course, but it is in most cases less intimate than OTK, and newlyweds may after all be expected to be on somewhat intimate terms.

So why would Morrice re-use the wedding-night theme instead of devising a new one when he was a reasonably good cartoonist? Our theory is that Morrice was eager, even desperate to sell cartoons to Humorama and he tailored his work to what he thought Abe Goodman wanted to buy. As he was British, he could not have had much if any personal contact with Goodman or with American cartoonists, so he had to guage Goodman's preferences by what he saw already being published in the digests. There were only a few situations presented in Humorama cartoons, whether spanking or non-spanking: the office, the couple stranded on a desert island, the doctor's examining room, and of course, the honeymoon night, and these were repeated over and over. It's not surprising, then, that Morrice repeated the newlywed theme rather than devising something completely different, although we wish he had or at least produced a cartoon comparable to the earlier one.

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