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The Beginning of the Trend

PEEPHOLE COMICS fortunes centered initially around their main character, Spoodgie, a young college student who spent more time trying to get laid than he did trying to earn a degree. A superhero line was added in later years when it seemed like everyone had a superhero line, and that became temporarily more successful than the multiple Spoodgie series spin-offs. Of course, both were overshadowed by the enormous success of the nudity laden Green Valley and its many spin-offs until the end of the company's life.

But Spoodgie is the guy who got it up first!

A Hardy Spoodge On Ya


Okay, let's get this out of the way. Yes, Spoodgie's name is where the slang term know, really came from. Spoodgie's desire to "Spoodge" and his feminine conquests constant need to call out "Spoodgie" at the appropriate time made the term what it has become today, an iconic phrase for male seminal fluids flying madly about over aything within spurting range.

Now, with that out of the way, we return you to our story, already in progress.

Spoodgie first appeared in his own comic, Spoodgie and his Frat House Pals #1, which arrived on newsstands around November 24, 1942. The comic was a Christmas present to horny boys and girls everywhere, promising newsstand spank material for years to come. The holiday themed issue featured Micki Nickleby and her beau Spoodgie in a typical one panel gag. Our hero opens a present to find a scantily clad Micki inside while his horrified family looks on.

As with most covers in the Peephole line Spoodgie #1 was a fairly sexy image, the humor risque and quite suggestive. Micki wears nothing more than some ribbon and a bow, and asks Spoodgie: "Aren't you going to finish unwrapping your present?" The inside was fairly tame compared to that cover, but that would all change thanks to the publisher's overstimulated hormonal state and complete lack of scruples.

Spoodgie's first cover and most of the interior art was drawn by Canby Samson with stories allegedly written by humour novelist Austin O'neel, who refuses to acknowledge any connection whatsoever with either Spoodgie, his masterworks Jezzebelle, Micki the Nude Model, or any Peephole Comics at all, really. He's been known to—literally—run screaming from the room like his hair was on fire whenever anyone approaches him with copies of Peephole Comics to sign, and completely ignores questions about Peephole whenever he's asked on panels, at conventions, or readings and signings for his novels—often sticking his fingers in his ears and making strange sounds until you go away—behaviour which is unsettling and frankly kind of odd.

With that frst issue Spoodgie exploded onto the comics scene like—well—a wet firecracker, not selling particularly well, though it was extremely memorable to those who remember buying it. Spoodgie had been 'conceived' by owner Hardiman U. Skiddalmoore, who was basically ripping off other publishers who were all ripping off the popular Hardy Randy movies of the time.

Like Hardy, Spoodgie had endless financial problems, endless jalopy problems, and endless girl problems—though most men would have killed for the kind of girl problems Spoodgie had as they usually involved two or three beautiful young ladies vying for his easily-diverted attention—primarily by getting naked and touching him sexually. This made things more enviable and far less like their inspirational source, as Spoodgie and the girls often ended up having sex, or at least fondling each others bare bits a lot. Either way, there was always a lot of "spoodging" in the end.

Just like the Hardy Randy films each girl Spoodgie dated was more willing than the last to forgive Spoodgie's indiscretions with some other girl — in spite of the fact that it always screwed up everyone's life with his incessant bouncing back and forth between the lot of them. In fact, Spoodgie once wound up having sex with all the girls in a particular story at the same time! While someone took pictures! As a young reader, I wanted to be Spoodgie more than any other fictional character in existence. There were several Spoodgie related titles and endless sexy stories, and as a typical male in full hormonal bloom I just couldn't Spoodge enough.

I mean , really, as you can plainly see, the comics were much better than the candy-coated movies and comic books they were stolen from. I mean based on.

Just Like The Movies, Only Better

Spoodgie_Cover_03In the Hardy Randy moviesLove Finds Hardy Randy in particularthe perennially cute Judee Ratherford and the lovely Jan Gartland played Hardy's rich and middle class love interests, respectively. Judee was the cute girl next door who couldn't get noticed to save her life, and Ann played the adoring girlfriend who doted on Hardy with an expectation of marriage. In the comics, these 'roles' were taken by Micki and Nikki Nickleby, twin sisters and neighbors of Spoodgie and the Jones family. The girl who was usually bobbing on Spoodgie's nob, though, was the spoiled, needy, self centered, and extremely jealous Wensdy Waboomba, who was cribbed from the Hardy Randy movies stunning Tara Lerner—the spoiled, needy, self centered, and extremely jealous girl who loved to 'neck.'

(In the movies viewers over a certain age always understood 'neck' was Hayes Code slang for 'fuck' anyway. Fortunately for Spoodgie fans there was no decoding necessary. He said 'fuck' and he meant it. So did the girls he was fucking.)

Judee (Nikki) was a wealthy, brunette, big-hearted nice girl who would do anything to get Hardy (Spoodgie) to notice her. Jan (Micki) was the devoted, auburn-haired, long-suffering girlfriend who was often forgotten while Hardy (Spoodgie) went about his business, often with Tara (Wensdy) the blonde, hottie, sex-kitten who was always around to throw the proverbial monkey wrench into the works. That monkey wrench, of course, being her naked body, or parts of it.

As fans of Spoodgie may remember, the 'classes' of Micki, Nikki and Wensdy were essentially reversed from their movie counterparts. Micki and Nikki were the very middle class sisters — fraternal twins — while Wensdy was the rich and sultry tease.

Jeraldine Cook Fan Dance

Amazingly, in what had to be one of comicdoms most surprising and incredible alterations, Wensdy was split into two different people, Foxi Fergison, rich sister of Rexy, Spoodgie's buddy and betting bookie, while the hornier side of Wensdy changed over from a white, blonde, neighborhood girl to — shockingly, especially for the forties — an African American exotic dancer from the wrong side of the tracks. This sudden occurence came shortly after Mervin took control of PEEPHOLE, and was doubtless spurred on by his lusty fascination with "The Brown Venus": dancer, singer, actress, comedienne, animal rights proponent, vegetarian chef, nudist and social activist Jeraldine Cook.

Jeraldine Cook

Panel comparisons with photographs of Ms. Cook from that time make this fairly evident.

Randy himself—like Spoodgie—was just a middle class kid with a housewife mother, and the town mayor—or, in Spoodgie's case, town minister—for a father. That difference in parental role models was likely what made Spoodgie so different from Hardy. Whereas Hardy was always trying to be like his dad, Spoodgie wanted nothing more than to escape the repression of living under his father and acted out in ways that most teenagers did—and still do!

Nothin' Else Like It

Sppodgie goes to Green Valley

Recognizing those old, Hardy Randy films as some kind of inspirational starting point for Spoodgie is just the beginning of understanding this wildly unusual, some might even say brilliant concept. Very quickly Spoodgie, his brother Hardie, their buddies Rexy, Bonehead, Micki, Nikki, Kiki, Joanie, Judee, Wensdy, Awanna Witch, and the faux Irish hipster Scooti MacGoo—all their various pals, and all the many locations, settings and residents of their middle America hometowns of Honey's Hole and Hickleville—became something utterly unique and very different from any of their movie or comic book counterpartsor anything else, for that matterespecially the more prim and sedate newsstand competition.

Among the many differences between the world Spoodgie inhabited and the world of the more light and fluffy Hardy Randy films, and all the various 'universes' of Spoodgie's endless newsstand competitors were:

* A college setting instead of high school

* Edgier, more street-level humor

* More 'adult' or 'teen-to-adult transitional' situations and less parental control as these 'kids' were closer to leaving the nest

* One, steady girl, Micki, who would get naked and give head, but wouldn't 'put out,' (which is what led Spoodgie to other girls)

* A more pronounced sexual direction coupled with prodigious nudity, sexuality, and coarse language

* Exposed penises

* Exposed breasts

* Exposed penises between breasts

* Exposed vaginas

* Exposed penises IN vaginas


* Exposed penises in everything

* There was a lotta SEX in these comics. Am I getting that across?

This 'sex' difference was due entirely to Mervin Skiddalmoore, Hardiman's son, taking over the company after the death of his father. Spoodgie was in all likelihood based on Mervin, as Hardiman was a well-known tyrannical prude, and Mervin a rebellious horndog. Mervin and his father were complete opposites, and the son knew nothing about publishingcomic books or anything else, for that matter and his own professed limitless libido coupled with this lack of understanding that you weren't supposed show sex in comic books became a perfect storm of innovation. As he once proudly proclaimed: "I liked naked girls sucking and fucking, so I put lots of it into the Spoodgie books."

Mervin's decision to expand the sexuality in the PEEPHOLE line only increased with time throughout the life of the company until PEEPHOLE COMICS had become ridiculously brazen for something distributed through mom and pop grocery stores in rural America. Eventually PEEPHOLE was finally driven out of business because of it, but not before they had left an indelible mark on the comic book industry. PEEPHOLE ceased operations in October of 1978, the summer of the PEEPHOLE IMPLOSION, and literally overnight Spoodgie and his Frat House Pals were no more.

PEEPHOLE COMICS, and Spoodgie in particular, were much beloved by their few, ardent fans, mostly because those fans felt the company's direction more accurately represented the 'reality' of their situations (at least until things went a bit insane during PEEPHOLE's final years), lives of longing, sex, alcohol, sex, the angst of youth,

PEEPHOLE COMICS was the only place where horny young boys could find stories about horny young boys and the hot girls they wanted to have sex with.

PEEPHOLE COMICS was the only place harried young girls surrounded by horny young boys pushing for sex could find pretty young girls trying to 'save' themselves for marriage, and often failing.

PEEPHOLE COMICS stories dealt with sexuality and adult themes in a humorous, yet surprisingly honest way that spoke to fans on a level no one else would. Kind of like 'learning about these things in the street'. Only in this case, it was a four-color, pulp-printed 'street.'

Was PEEPHOLE COMICS bad for young readers? Possibly. It certainly wasn't for Mervin to decide. But did it harm kids more to read about the long-suffering girls at other companies who would wait endlessly and patiently for the losers who continually string them along so they can sex up other girls? It's a subject that's endlessly debated, and forever will be.

Did PEEPHOLE cross a line? Absolutely. But like with EC Comics, most of the fans I've encountered — and there are many — grew up to be responsible adults with good jobs and a positive attitude about morality, sexuality and reality. As we've learned all too well in recent, repressive times, ignoring the subject of sexuality and preaching abstinence gets girls pregnant. Honesty, knowledge and information keep them baby-free and able to lie about still having their virginity. Even if it was the juvenile honesty of PEEPHOLE COMICS.

Or perhaps not. That's really for parents to decide, not Mervin Skiddalmoore. Consequently, whatever material we present, or re-present here will be available only to adults and kids who have tricked us.

PEEPHOLE'S demise as an alternative to the more aspartame adventures of other more successful publishers was a great loss to those of us who loved their unique and very funny approach. Spoodgie in particular was a much beloved, and deeply missed character. At least by boys.

Fortunately for their fans, over the course of a thirty-six year run the many creative people who wrote, drew and helped envision PEEPHOLE'S dozens of memorable characters, situations, and settings, created many many, memorable moments and ideas for us fans to revisit and explore anew, not the least of which were Spoodgie himself, the irrepressible Jezzebelle, the legendary community of Green Valley and all the citizens thereof.


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