I suppose that kids in the days that these comics were created had a better chance of getting “spanked” for bad behavior than they are in less medieval times. And I suppose some parents could find rueful humor in the beatings that follow a little girls’ innocently destructive behavior. You can really only buy that rationale for so long before you start to think, man, some of these artists must have had some serious issues.
Because there are hundreds — nay, thousands — of examples of children in the funny papers getting
spanked beaten. They are not limited to girls, but overwhelmingly are (I am not a comics connoisseur so I am not standing by statistics).Perennial favorites such as Nancy, Little Audrey, Little Dot and Lil Jinx, all get the business side of their mother and father’s hands, shoes, hairbrushes among other more original household objects. The beating-worthy transgression is usually some sort of naughty antic or chicanery as opposed to anything willfully evil.
Lil Jinx was constantly getting the stuffing kicked out of her by her scary, rageholic father. With his large ham hands, with books…
The radiating butt-stars are the universal comic symbol for pain.
Her parents, first of all.
Audrey’s dad hits her.
Audrey’s mom hits her. Sometimes she hit her with hairbrushes.
Little Lotta Plump’s obsession with food does not make Lotta an obese slob. The more she eats, the stronger she becomes. Still, she doesn’t fight back when her dad, Mr. Plump, puts her over his knee for a good whacking.
Richie Rich, Poor Little Rich Boy, isn’t above getting smacked, proving that beatings aren’t relegated to the 99%.
I am sad to report that Little Lulu really gets the shit kicked out her.
But sometimes it’s a derelict looking man with an alcoholic’s nose who I guess is her father.
Just look at the windup in this panel. That’s crazy.
Hitting someone else’s kid? Yeah you’re right, Lulu, it probably IS against the law,.
Beatings are such a huge part of Lulu’s life, she keeps a “spanking diary”.
Our Nancy really takes a licking and kept on ticking.
The brunt of Nancy’s abuse does not come at the hand of a parent, but at that of her young and beautiful Aunt, Fritzi Ritzi. Nancy’s parents were nowhere to be found and their absence is never explained.
You can almost understand Aunt Fritzi’s abuse of Nancy. You see, Fritzi was once an elite party girl, a hot-to-trot flapper, until her niece Nancy shows up at her door and she has to serve as the kid’s “benefactor”.
Look at the rage in Fritzi’s face. She wants to be out dancing the Charleston and instead she’s stuck being a nursemaid to a bratty 8-year-old.
Under the beneficent care of Aunt Fritzi, Nancy is not spared the rod, the shoe, the hairbrush or the boxing glove.
Aunt Fritzi is a sadistic disciplinarian, not qualified to raise a cat let alone a child. NOT an ideal model for a young child,
When dad is a little snoozy, he finds clever ways of beating Dot. He even beats her on family vacations.
Here she is getting beaten with a flashlight. A fckng flashlight.
What can Little Dot do to stop the beatings?
Call the cops? No can do.
In trying to impress the teacher, Patsy runs amok, interfering with lessons, ruining school trips and following the teacher around town and into shops. The teacher gets a guard dog and adopted disguises to evade her young charge.
All poor Patsy wants is to get in the teacher’s good graces. And all she ever receives is a violent thrashing, caning or spanking – metered out by her own beloved teacher.
There’s a long tradition of ‘naughty children’ in British comic book characters. America got a thousand different superheroes, Britain got a thousand different naughty children who in turn got a lot of physical abuse. Beryl the Peril and Minnie the Minx were both created to be female versions of Dennis the Menace. They weren’t. They weren’t bratty boy characters with vaginas – they subverted the other character’s ideas of acceptable behaviour for a girl and fought against the expectations of their gender fiercely. And, the last frame of practically every Beryl and Minnie story featured the girls turned over their father’s knee getting a healthy heaping of the ‘Whacking Slipper.’ ”
Beryl the Peril is a devious tomboy and a true original. She gives as good as she gets, she’s fearless and with a total disregard for other people’s opinions of her. “Snot fair!”, Beryl wails, causing chaos through menacing her neighbors, parents and teachers.
Beryl makes her dad really, really mad. So he beats the shit out of her. With fists, with shoes, with drum sticks….
Minnie The Minx, who originated from ‘ Beano’ in the 1950’s, is fascinatingly ugly. Described as an Amazonian warrior”, she has a particular interest in beating up crowds of boys, using a fighting technique referred to as a “double whammy”, and “the Minnie tum-tum crusher”.
Minnie may be a problem child, but Minnie’s dad is a sadistic fuck.
Minnie spends a lot of time and ingenuity hiding her reports cards from her dad, because she knew she was going to get beaten senseless when he saw her poor grades.
The Katzenjammer Kids gave us a higher level of sadism, as it was created by a German.
The theme centers around the ability of little Hans and Fritz to pull creative pranks and as a result, they are hunted down and beat within an inch of their lives by the terrifying captain and his equally horrifying wife.
That don’t stop mom and dad from wailing on him.
The dread of school discipline has been a popular in comic series in the UK, where the memory of it has remained fresh. “Caning” has been a real hoot to the Brits. In the “Bash Street Kids” series, the School Master keeps a selection of canes at his front door, just for emergencies.
The Bash Street Kids expect to receive their just retribution via either a simple canning, to via some outlandish and apparently outmoded rattan contrivance.
Every single episode of “The Bash Street Kids” ends with the teacher “whopping” his pupils, sometimes resorting to a Heath Robinson caning contraption when his arms become too weary: “A hundred and eight whacks! This machine is in perfect running order!”.
There are so many things wrong with this, the beatings is the least of it.
Perhaps no one gets it as bad as poor Little Iodine Tremblechin, a prankish, conniving little girl whose pesky behavior causes endless misery for her psychotic, mentally ill father, Henry Tremblechin.
Here he is beating her with a mother-of-pearl hairbrush while Iodine shrieks in pain.
Here he is giving her 50 whacks with his “ol’ razor strap”.
Even Iodine’s grandpa gets in on the action because patterns of abuse get passed down.
Homely, accident-prone and utterly irrepressible, Iodine’s high jinks get her beaten every time.. I’m talking viciously pummeled. Even her mom Cora gets in on the action. Often. Sometimes with that old mom standby weapon, the hairbrush.
Sometimes, one hand isn’t enough and you need two.
Sometimes, you need more than hands and you need a ruler, book, a shoe, or a hairbrush.
Iodine really is a tragic figure. Willfully antisocial by nature and hideously abused.
Comics came under under intense public scrutiny during the late 1940’s, due in large part to the accumulation of crime, horror and pulp titles flooding newstands towards the end of the decade. Comi books and related media, a cs were evidentified as a corrupting influence on America’s youth and in 1954, a campaign was mounted against their sale to young children, which led to a congressional inquiry into juvenile delinquency. As an alternative to government regulation, The Comics Magazine Association of America was formed, allowing comic publishers to self-regulate the content The coalition of publishers included DC, Atlas (Marvel), Harvey, Archie and EC. Seeking to counteract the extreme public reaction to the anti-comics crusade, the CMAA instituted a universal editorial policy meant to restrict the visceral content of comic books and related media, a “Comics Code”.
Specific restrictions were placed on the portrayal of kidnapping and concealed weapons, excessive violence and sexual perversion, “lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations”, and Vampires, werewolves, ghouls and zombies. Strangely, no reference whatsoever was made to any form of corporal imagery. Presumably this was because child beating was perfectly acceptable to the Code’s architects.