Spanking Sound-Effects, by Bill Wenzel

soundstage spanking without sound effect man

posted by the Web-Ed on 05/07/2010

We're coming to the end of our Bill Wenzel cartoons, so bear with us because we have a lot to say about Wenzel this time. First, let's dispose of the gag if we can, which is just a little obscure. It seems to be original and not later rewritten by the editor, as sometimes happened when these old humor cartoons got "recycled". So, why do we rehearse this scene when the sound-effects man is absent? Either so that multiple re-takes will be necessary, or (more likely) because without the sound-effects man to enhance the smacking sounds, we'll just have to spank harder! Seems reasonable to us.

As noted in "Secretary Spanked by Senior", we had originally failed to identify that work as Wenzel's until DRD drew our attention to it in the forums. Our problem was that we had few examples of Wenzel's work and the signatures did not match, leading us to believe we were dealing with the art of two separate cartoonists. We should have examined the material more closely, and we're going to make up for not having done that now. We will look at this cartoon and the two other "spankers" already posted, plus one non-spanker we dug up for comparison purposes.

soundstage spanking small version

Sound Effects

bottoms up small version

Bottoms Up

junior spanking small version

Spanked by Senior

Our three spanking-good samples. Clicking on the last two will open their respective pages in a new window.
sound effect signature bottoms up signature junior spanking signature
The signatures: clearly, the one from "Bottoms Up" does not match the other two.
sound effect face bottoms up face junior spanking face
But the faces tell the true story. Wenzel draws almost entirely with curves rather than angles, and you can see this clearly with the roundness of the faces - in fact, he draws a semicircle to outline the jaw and one side of the face. We have reversed the first face and traced over this semicircle in the versions below to make the comparison easier. The third face is a less-obvious match than the first two, but this time the matching signatures ("Sound Effects" and "Spanked by Senior") leave no doubt that all three cartoons are the work of the same man.
sound effect face bottoms up face junior spanking face

wenzel non-spanking cartoon face only wenzel non-spanking cartoon face only

Just in case anyone is still not convinced, here's a non-spanking example that again demonstrates Wenzel's characteristic round face.

wenzel non-spanking cartoon of college classroom

And just for fun, here's the complete cartoon. As we mentioned, Wenzel draws with curves almost exclusively, producing women who are very, er, round in certain places. One of those places is the key to the gag here, where the male student tries to convince his professor that even though he looked over the girl's shoulder, he really "didn't see a thing on her paper!" His vision was blocked, you see, by her - well, you get the idea. We like the expression on the professor's face, which seems to say, "A likely story, young man." The fashions would seem to place this cartoon around 1950. The green accent color is reminiscent of the way the old Humorama digest covers looked, and indicate this image was scanned from "The Pin-Up Art of Bill Wenzel", which we think is still available from Fantagraphics Books and which we recommend to anyone interested in Wenzel's art. If we weren't so broke, we'd have ordered a copy ourselved before we began to research this.

Wenzel's women tend to be a trifle overweight, but they carry their poundage extremely well and are rather more realistically proportioned than the slender beauties of Homer and (sometimes) Kirk Stiles. Also, the nice round bottoms that Wenzel provided are eminently spankable, so it's a pity he didn't draw more "spankers".

And the "bottoms up" signature, the one that doesn't match? It's printed in a stylized way, which at first would make it seem not to be a true signature at all, but after doing some more research on Wenzel (a fun project, by the way), we're convinced it is Wenzel's. There are several other cartoons of his that he signed the same way. Why did he do it? The only explanation that comes to mind is that his usual signature was so hard to read that if he wanted to be sure an editor knew who he was, he used this alternate version. Perhaps when presenting his portfolio to a new editor, he made sure to include a cartoon that had this alternate signature.

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