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Chicago Spanking Review Special Series

2011 - A Year of Humorama Spanking Cartoons!

#68 - Secretary Spanking #26

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bill wenzel first secretary spanking

From the collection of Dan Rivera by way of Mike. Posted by the Web-Ed on 12/23/2011 (click to double-size).

"I promise never to misspell a word again!"

With those heartfelt words from a secretary pleading with her boss, perhaps both the genre of the Spanking Cartoon and the sub-genre of Secretary Spanking were born. We say "perhaps" because the history and even the definition of the spanking cartoon are somewhat uncertain at this point. We learned of this cartoon's existence from a low-quality cover scan of an old Humorama digest, and we believe it dates from July 1955 [now confirmed - see update below]. While we have located a fly-swatter spanking gag from a few months before, this is still the earliest Humorama cartoon to feature the OTK position as far as we know, and so for the moment the credit for starting the genre that resulted in at least 164 Humorama spanking cartoons goes to Bill Wenzel.

This cartoon, like secretary spanked by senior, appears less polished than Wenzel's later work, and his first name, Bill, is included in the signature. (For more on Wenzel's various signatures, see the Art & Cartoons Topic on the CSR Forum.) In particular, the incredibly form-fitting dress, one of his trademarks, is not fully developed here, and there is a noticeable lack of detail in comparison to his known later work as it had evolved by as early as 1957.

This particular version came originally from the collection of our own Dan Rivera, who then contributed it to the November 1991 issue of Scarlett Hill's Strictly Speaking Spanking. In this form it became part of Mike's collection which he turned over to us this year, from whence we re-scanned it into the image you see here - an impressive pedigree! Needless to say, we'll continue to search for another version and try to nail down the date of its first appearance. [This was later accomplished in Feb. 2012 - see below.]

bill wenzel first secretary spanking

From the collection of and posted by the Web-Ed on 02/03/2012. Click to double-size.

cover of comedy july 1955

The cover of Comedy (July 1955, Web-Ed's collection). Click to double-size.

02/03/2012 Update: We have now confirmed that this cartoon was indeed first published in the July 1955 issue of Comedy, and in fact adorned the cover next to model Michiol Monet. We can also see now that Dan's version must have been taken from a reprint since the caption is printed differently, perhaps dating from the early to mid 1960's. Hugob00m expressed his thoughts on this cartoon over on the CSR Feedback Forum:

"At that time, Bill Wenzel apparently wasn't as skilled as he became later, but there were signs of what he would eventually become. The lady is nicely proportioned, but not shaded the way his later drawings would be. And the angle of her twisted neck makes me think of Linda Blair in The Exorcist! But the important thing is that this was the first of its kind to be published in one of the Humorama family of magazines, and obviously, there was enough of a favorable response for it that Wenzel would continue to draw more like it and so would the other artists who submitted their work to Humorama."

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