Part 1 - Introduction, Gene Bilbrew and Nan Gilbert
The Art of Petticoat Punishment' is the title of an ongoing series of articles I am writing for on this web page.
My goals are to present and review classic illustrations on the topic and to contact others in order to trade material and information. I will not be offended if you tell me I have made a mistake or omitted something important.
I have written and supervised the illustration of many Petticoat Punishment stories and am in the process of doing more. I have also translated several vintage French and German books. Some of these are for sale on Kindle. Others you may only buy here.
I have a bias. I believe that there is one key element to a good Petticoat Punishment story - the victim is unwilling. "There is no satisfaction in hanging a man who does not object to it," according to George Bernard Shaw. For me, the tension vanishes from a story as soon as the victim thinks that wearing girl's clothes isn't so bad. He should fear exposure as a boy-girl or sissy and he should be exposed as one. He may be dressed as a sissy or he may wear clothing inappropriate for his age. He may have a short haircut or his tormentor may let him look like a proper girl but call him by his own name or otherwise identify him as a male. He may try to look and act as much like a girl as possible in order to avoid detection, but that very attempt is humiliating for him.
I frequented used bookstores and adult stores in seedy neighborhoods. I purchased many of my books through the mail. It was not easy without a checking account or credit cards. Irving Klaw went out of business with a hundred dollars of my cash. However, even with that setback, my collection grew. The 1960's were a great time for Petticoat Punishment art. Gene Bilbrew was illustrating the stories of Nan Gilbert.
Gene Bilbrew (1923-74) was one of the finest artists in the genre. Immediately following the Second World War he worked for the Will Eisner Comic Book Studio. He then enrolled in Burne Hogarth's School of Visual Arts where one of his fellow students was Eric Stanton. In 1952, perhaps at Stanton's recommendation, he began drawing bondage art for Irving Klaw. His Klaw bondage work is of little interest to the Petticoat Punishment enthusiast, but can be found in the Bizarre Comix series by Belier Press.
Bilbrew drew for such titles as Fantasia and Exotique. He used several aliases including Van Rod, Bondy and Eneg (Gene spelled backward). The fetish background is evident in the cover to Captive in Lace' from Exotique. Note the corsets, gloves and extreme high heels. Also note the suggestively spread legs of the woman. Again see the corset, gloves and leather on the cover of Sister's Tee Vee Revenge' from Mutrix. The busty women in sexy postures are also typical of his work. Even while drawing to appeal to the fetishist, he did draw realistic but frilly feminine clothing as on the cover of "A Male Turns Female' from Mutrix.
In 1959 he began a cartoon series in Fantasia called Campus Capers'. The story was about Bob Strong and the Pantie Pirates' who are caught during a panty raid on the girls dormitory by Fran and the Anti-Pantie-Raiders'. The girls force them into panties and abandon them some distance from campus. They are subsequently forced to act as servants for the girls. They have to wear demeaning costumes. Nan Gilbert rewrote this story as The Panty Raiders' also illustrated by Bilbrew.
I found my copy of the Panty Raiders' in a small porno shop in San Francisco. It wasn't my favorite store; it wrapped its magazines so you couldn't open them. However, they didn't care that I was still not twenty-one. After all, I didn't buy the porn, just the fetish books such as Nutrix or Exotique
It was on a lower shelf all by itself and there was only one copy. Wrapped in its clear plastic I could only see the first page. Panty Raiders' it said. It was $15, quite a high price for the time. The art was attractive, however, and I took a chance. At home I opened the plastic and scanned through the story. It was on single sheets of 8x10-photo quality paper. All 48 pages were half text and half simply wonderful Gilbert' art (it wasn't until years later that I discovered that Bilbrew was the real artist). Only then did I read the story. It was unremitting Petticoat Punishment from beginning to end. No sudden conversion to liking it, only escalating humiliation.
I have bought thousands of books wrapped in plastic or through the mail sight unseen. Most of them have nothing I want. Panty Raiders' was the buy of a lifetime. I have read it or looked at the drawings thousands of times. It was what inspired me to seek out an artist and do my own stories.
Over the next several years, I sought out and purchased everything I could find with the Gilbert name on it. Here is a checklist with my (panty) ratings of the stories.
Several of the stories were originally sold by Gargoyle Sales Corporation of New York City between 1954 and 1957 as 8x10 photographs of the art and story. I have several of these photo collections but would always like to find more. Mine include item 211, 'Memories From a Pink Mirror', item 212, 'The Panty Raiders', and item #252, 'Transformed'.
'Panty Raiders' begins with three college boys conducting a raid on the Alpha Beta Gamma' sorority house while the girls are at a game. The girls return and discover the boys. The sorority girls and their housemother, Mrs. Jones, decide to handle the matter themselves. The boys agree to submit rather than be reported to the Dean and face dismissal from school. They must report to the sorority every afternoon after their classes and act as maids' until eight at night.
"Furthermore," Mrs. Jones told them, "you will be severely spanked for any impertinence, and since you seem to find panties rather thrilling, you will wear them at all times. In addition, you will be referred to as Robette, Marie and Gisele, and always address the girls as Miss'."
When the boys return the next afternoon, they are told that their uniforms' are ready for them.
"You . . . you . . . mean, you expect us to wear those things!"
"Of course, Gisele. You would hardly expect to see a smart maid mincing about in trousers, would you?"
The girls shrieked with laughter, as Jim stood there, crestfallen and crushed, his head bowed.
Note that Bilbrew still is true to his fetish roots. The boys wear exotic clothing including corsets, high heels, garter belts and tight panty girdles under their panties to keep them modest'. The sorority girls in contrast look rather normal, almost plain compared to the cross-dressed boys.
Each boy is assigned to a girl who laces him into his corset, dresses him and makes him up as a maid. They are then shown off to the entire sorority:
I heard the sibilant rustle of silk behind me, and glanced over my shoulder to glimpse Pete and Jim mincing into the room on the arms of their Mistresses. We three did look like French Maids except perhaps for bulges missing in the proper places.
The Sorority plans a party for the Delta Delta' girls, and the boys are mortified to find that they must serve. The boys were quite concerned. "But won't the Delta Delta girls spread the word around the campus about our being your . . . your maids?"
The Delta Delta girls do discover the boys' secret and they tear off the panty raiders' panties. Their mistresses hurry them out to the kitchen, leaving the screaming girls behind. Their uniforms are ripped, wigs askew and stockings full of runs.
The boys hope that the destruction of their uniforms would mark the end of their time as maids. However, the girls had replacements. Their new uniforms were identical except that their lingerie was even frillier than before. Soon their mistresses accepted an offer for the boys to serve tea at another sorority house. At the other house, the boys are in the kitchen. Note that they are wearing falsies, and check the height of those heels!
"It's all your fault Jim that we're like this!" Pete grumbled glancing down at his prettily flared skirts. "Aw shut up!" Jim retorted, "Do you think I like it any better than you, being dolled up like this?"
The girls suggest a fashion show. The maids' are to model their lingerie.
"Oh Miss Martha, Please don't make us go out there like this!"
"Not another word, Mince!"
The sorority girls decide to have a dance and have their maids come in formals. First, they must buy them. The girls lend the boys dresses for the shopping trip.
"I am going to let you wear my pretty blue taffeta frock," Martha teased.
At the store, the boys are separated to have their gowns fitted. Two pretty clerks attend to one of the boys, but they can't resist teasing him.
She caused me deep humiliation as she pointed to my padded bras and asked "True or false?"
The shop owner observed their resultant gaiety and was quite upset. She flipped up the girl's skirts and gave her a smack on their lace panties.
The boys look so good at the dance that they got more attention than the girls. They become upset about them stealing their boyfriends.
They pulled off our wigs. The girls shrieked with delight, while the fellows flushed crimson realizing that all the pretty things they had said to the three cousins' were actually said to boys.
The story ends with the boys being paraded around the room with their skirts tied above their heads their taffeta covered buttocks being swatted with paddles. The final words were "Gilbert's next best seller Memoirs from a Pink Mirror'." Guess what I was out looking for the next day.