WolfieToons by Dave Wolfe

WolfieToons by Dave Wolfe

Sunday, February 2, 2014


(Bullwinkle Voice) Hello, Culture Lovers!

In comic art, a "swipe"  is a drawing that has been directly copied from another (and usually better) artist and presented as one's own.  That's different from a "tribute" or "pastiche."  "Swipes" were pretty common practice in the 30's, when comic books were new, but a surprising amount of it still goes on today!

Now, if I were to present this:

a lot of people would recognize it as a famous bit of "Flash Gordon" work by Alex Raymond.

But, a lot of people wouldn't, and would say, "Dayam, that Wolfie can draw!"  

Thank you, thank you.

An awful lot of people have swiped Alex Raymond's work, because he was a superior artist and frequently used live models.  

He even gave lessons on drawing Nekkid Girls in Proper Perspective.

Another guy whose work was lovingly copied to save time and get a nice paycheck was Hal Foster, whose "Prince Valiant" was royal comic strip art.

Hal also did the "Tarzan" newspaper strip for a while in the 30's.

A fellow named Bob Kane was a big admirer.

That final dramatic panel, and just about every other panel in the origin story featured in "Batman" #1 in 1940, was a Swipe!

(Bob earned a very bad reputation as a Pilferer, of both art and credit.  Hardly any of the "Batman" artwork with the big "BOB KANE" signature box through the years was his, and almost all of the writing was done by Bob's fairly silent partner, and Batman's unsung co-creator, Bill Finger.  But I digress.)   

Now, everybody learns by copying at first.  This "Hawkman" page from "Flash Comics" #5 in 1940 is full of "Flash Gordon" swipes by artist Sheldon Moldoff.  As a matter of fact, the first artist for this feature, Dennis Neville, got the look for his hero from the Hawkmen in "Flash Gordon."

The third artist for "Hawkman"  was a young fellow named Joe Kubert, who not only became one of the greats with features like "Sergeant Rock" and a revised "Hawkman," but who began the Kubert School for Cartooning and Graphic Arts.

Kubert told his students that when you copy another artist, you will exaggerate his exaggerations, especially if it turns out you're copying someone else's copy, and the result will be severe and probably unattractive distortion.  He recommended lots of drawing from life, or at least using photographs.  

Say, I wonder how many pole-vaulters, runners, skating stars and boxers from the newspapers and magazines have wound up with Crime Fighting Doppelgangers in the funny books?

(Zooming off)

(Putting Evil Doers In Place)

Okay, now-- remember that Dick Williams magazine illustration? 

Boom, of "OTKatie" fame, pointed out IN THIS POST at "The Chicago Spanking Review" forum the similarity between it and this poster for a 1947 movie with Fred MacMurray and Paulette Goddard called "Suddenly Last Spring!"  Have a look!

The movie is a wacky post-war will-they-divorce-or-get-back-together romantic comedy and has no actual spankage.  But what a dandy Publicity Shot!!  

(Spanking Makes Happy Couples.)

Hey, come to think of it, those two have some other Movie Spanking to their credit! 

Paulette got an on-screen spanking from Ray Milland in "Reap The Wild Wind!"

("Mr. DeMille, can we please do that scene again?  Thaaaaank you!!")

John Wayne was in that picture, too, if ya wanna play "Six Degrees of Spanking Separation."

In the 1944 movie "And The Angels Sing," Fred MacMurray and his pals spank the Angel Sisters-- that is, Dorothy Lamour, Betty Hutton, Diana Lynn and Mimi Chandler!   I've been fighting with Blogger to embed Chross's YouTube clip here, but the smurf-smurfin' thing will not cooperate, so you'll have to click on the blue letters here to see 


Anyway, what do you think?  Dick Williams was a fine artist, so did he "merely" use Fred and Paulette as "models," with some kind of permission, or did he actually "swipe" that publicity shot?  Maybe such things were considered "public domain?"  It would help if we knew from whence came the illustration!

Well, The World May Never Know.  But at least in this post I got to do something with / to that Flash Gordon pic that's been screaming to me for Spanking Reinterpretation for forty-two years.


  1. hi Wolfie,

    very interesting information about artists and swiping..............not to mention some good looking spanking pics and drawings:D no wonder Fred MacMurray looks so happy.....................LOL. thanks for providing this information for us.

    1. Thanks, Phil! And I also appreciate your pointing out Boom's find at "CSR!" Yes, Fred does look very happy-- Oh, hey, I forgot the spanking scene MacMurray and Company did in a movie called "And The Angels Sing!" I'll go back and add it!!

  2. That was fun. Wolfie! Dare I ask if you swipe stuff yourself or have live models?


    1. Thanks, I.A., glad you enjoyed it!

      Well, let's see... one of the cartoonists I most admire was a remarkably talented fella named Wally Wood. You can Yahoo him to see samples. Once, in a world-weary, tongue-in-cheek fashion, he told his staff, "Never draw what you can copy. Never copy what you can trace. Never trace what you can cut out and paste in."

      But all seriousness aside, I make it a point not to swipe, and I do use models. In fact, Season and Michael have posed for me, and Springrose, and Larken, and Kaki.... Really, they have... Just ask 'em!

  3. :-O Um, yeah, of course I've modeled for you, Wolfie. *blush* And you told me you didn't 'toon and tell or was that spank and tell or show and tell or the Farmer's see and say.

    As to 'swipe', it sounds like a nice word for stealing someone's hard work.
    You are a wealth of cartoon knowledge, thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Thanks, Kaki! Hey-- you gave me a great idea! A toy called :Wolfie's See and Spank!" Pull the handle and it says things like, "This is an Imp! Ouch, Ow, Ooh!"

      You're right about swiping! So it might lead to swatting!!

      Glad you enjoyed this!

  4. Greetings,
    Thanks for sharing this. As an artist myself, I find this especially interesting. I had never heard of the term or practice of swiping, but I can see where it would be very tempting to do.

    1. You're welcome, Enzo! I was just enjoying your post about Yoga Pants! For Wolfies like me, those girls put the Pants in Yoga Pants!

      Glad you found these facts fascinating! It's gratifying to share trivia with people who appreciate it!

      You've never used Swipes? That's admirable! (Bows low, his toupee falls off.)

    2. Hi Wolfie -

      Perhaps I may not be understanding the definition of Swipes correctly. I understood it to be tracing over an existing illustration and just changing the characters and features and leaving the existing poses and angles. If this is the correct definition, no I have not done this.

      If the definition is using existing photographs (not illustrations) as general reference for poses, then yes I have done that.

      A fellow artist friend who paints solely safari animals, warns that she, or anyone, can not work off any photo that is not originally hers. In other words she couldn't draw a zebra based on a Nat'l Geo magazine photo (not trace, just reference mind you), without it being considered "wrong".

      All very interesting! (and confusing).

    3. You've got it, Enzo-- a "swipe" could be a slightly changed tracing, or a very, very, VERY close copy!

      That's what I thought was funny about the Williams illustration-- it's SUCH a close copy it seems to cross the boundry between "reference" and "appropriation!" :D