Chicago Spanking Review

Sick Spanking

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cover of sick magazine #134

Cover of Sick magazine #134 (click to double-size). Posted by the Web-Ed on 04/18/2014.

We first discovered this one thirty-four years ago in 1980. At the time, we usually bought MAD but not Sick (Charlton's answer to MAD), so something must have caught our eye as we leafed through the pages of this issue, probably the "bend over the files" gag in the parody of WKRP (you can find it in Humorama Spanking Positions II). At some point, either before or after we purchased it, we realized there was an honest-to-goodness paddling as well. The reason we haven't seen it before now is that sometime in the 24 years between when we bought this magazine and when we started CSR, our copy somehow got lost. But we never forget a spanking scene, and last year we finally managed to procure another copy.

As mentioned above, Sick was generally just another MAD-imitator running standard parodies of movies and TV shows (a hard-hitting satire c. 1976 of the two largest comic companies, Marvel and DC, was an exception). In this case, the object of the parody was the television mini-series The Martian Chronicles, loosely based on the story collection by Ray Bradbury. Fortunately, we don't need to know anything about the book or the series to appreciate the paddling scene, such as it is.

spanking panel from sick magazine #134

The spanking panel (click to double-size).

The spanking panel comes out of nowhere - no preparation or follow-up, just all of a sudden we see a "Marzian" whack his upside-down wife with a paddle. Obviously, the positioning is awful - it's neither OTK for a good traditional spanking, nor is it bending over for school-style swats. It is indeed so bad that at first you'd think the artist couldn't have known much about spanking. And yet, there is the basic fact of the spanking's being here in the first place when there isn't one in The Martian Chronicles, and the little matter of the holes in the paddle, which requires more than a cursory knowledge of paddling. So we immediately wonder: who was the writer and was he into spanking? Or could it be that the artist was the one to look at, since we don't know whether the writer specified "a paddle with holes" in his script? Unfortunately, both writer and artist were uncredited, so we began to try to figure out who they were.

Our first thought was that the writer might have been Arnold Drake, who wrote W-K-R-A-P in this issue. After all, its "bending over the files" gag somewhat suggested a possible inclination toward spanking. But Drake took a writing credit for W-K-R-A-P, so why wouldn't he have taken one for The Marz Chronicles as well? The style of the art seemed to match that of some other uncredited pieces in the issue, so we decided it was likely done by Jack Sparling, who was Sick's editor-in-chief at the time, and that he did the script as well.

inverted spanking panel from sick magazine #134

The spanking panel, inverted.

Prior to this, Sparling had done two known spankings, Mr. Rumbles and Honor Eden, the former a really first-rate scene, and of course there may be others as yet undiscovered, so he would seem to be a good choice. Why didn't he take credit as artist/writer? It may be that he didn't think it was up to the standard of his best work, or more likely that he didn't want to draw attention to how many pages he was assigning to himself. Considering the low rates Sick paid, nowhere near MAD's, we don't blame Sparling for trying to make up for them by doing a greater volume of pages.

This is the only known spanking from Sick. Needless to say, we were prepared to examine every issue afterward, but after six months had gone by, we realized there weren't going to be any more - the title had been cancelled after 20 years of publication. (It's an interesting coincidence that many comic book titles appear to have had their only spankings in what became their final issues). We'll still look at this title for more spankings when we can - back issues tend to be scarce and overpriced - with emphasis on the Sparling years.

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