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Chicago Spanking Review Special Series

The Humorama Spanking Cartoons!

#91 - Miss Gulick's Birthday Spanking

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humorama bo brown miss gulick goes through the spanking machine

From Romp (July 1965). From the collection of, scanned by and posted by the Web-Ed on 06/01/2012. Click to increase in size.

In spanking cartoons, the spankee is usually either bending over or taken across the spanker's knee. This is the only cartoon we have ever seen in which the spanking machine is employed, and while it isn't anyone's favorite type of adult spanking, it works extremely well here in what may be the funniest spanking gag we've ever seen in the pages of the Humorama Digests. Bo Brown is the artist, a regular but not prolific contributor to Humorama, and he was an excellent humorist, something we'll go into a little further below.

The gag here is that upon learning it's Miss Gulick's birthday, her coworkers eagerly rush to the scene to form a spanking machine so they can enjoy the pleasures of smacking her upturned rear end. Now the idea that someone might enjoy swatting a pretty girl's behind goes back a long way in humor cartoons (a subject we'll take up another day), and we've certainly seen it in this series, but Brown's suggestion here that it's a common characteristic of the male sex, as is the eagerness to gratify the desire, is what makes this cartoon so unusual. Nine figures had to be drawn here to make that point - surely a record for Humorama - but it was worth it. The only thing we might wish to see that couldn't be fit in is Miss Gulick's face, but at least Brown depicts her rear end as a tempting target, which serves to further the gag as well as appeal to our spanko sensibilities.

This was taken from our July, 1965 issue of Romp. However, we are now confident enough in our knowledge of Humorama to predict that it had first appeared earlier, probably in the late 50's.

humorama bo brown treasurer distracts the meeting with stripper

From Jest (Sept. 1959, Web-Ed's collection). Click to increase in size.

When we saw the cartoon above, we were impressed by Brown's originality. Most spanking cartoons follow a familiar pattern (the erring secretary, the misbehaving maid, the wife who goes too far). Somebody originates the pattern, perhaps Bill Wenzel, and then others give us their unique takes on it. It has to be that way because there's really only a small number of different spanking situations that can possibly exist. Therefore, when somebody comes up with a new idea, it's cause for celebration, and we should remember that all this thinking and drawing was only going to be repaid with $15.00 at most.

Here's another of Brown's cartoons for Humorama that show his abilities as a humorist. Offices and boardrooms were common settings for non-spanking cartoons as well as "spankers", and in this one we see that a Treasurer has hit upon a unique method of distracting attention from his report: he has a stripper perform on the table top. As her clothes go flying in all directions, the listeners are less likely to catch the financial details. The humor is found not only in this idea, but in the contrast between the men who are delighted by the stripper's performance and the strait-laced guy in the dark jacket who's having none of it. It's dull people like him who make the world go around, after all.

Unique conception and, as we saw with Miss Gulick's birthday scene, Brown very effectively captures the contrasting expressions on the characters' faces. He's easily as good as Dan DeCarlo at this aspect of cartooning, which is pretty high praise.

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