Thursday 9 June 2011

Ron Embleton - The Penthouse Years

Whilst Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder were working flat out every month to produce a full color and lavishly painted soft porn comic strip titled Little Annie Fanny for Hugh Hefner's Playboy magazine over in the UK, the one man power house art studio otherwise known as Ron Embleton was having the time of his life, producing all the artwork for Wicked Wanda to a script provided by Frederic Mullaly. As time went on, Embleton characteristically began to provide ideas and eventually scripts for the strip, as with Wulf it was once again becoming another Embleton production.

The strip lasted from 1973 to 1980 and was a truly credible riposte to Kurtzman and Elder's Little Annie Fanny.

Here are some fabulous originals sourced by The Book Palace, see if you can spot the Embleton self portrait in the large artwork.


  1. I gather Kramers Ergot 8 will have some Wicked Wanda in it, someone needs to publish collections of all this glorious Embleton Wicked Wanda work along with the Sweet Chasity strip.

  2. Thanks for the heads up onn this and here is a link with more information on Ergot 8:

  3. Erm...I think Penthouse might have had copyright problems in producing their own character called Little Annie Fanny - which is probably why they called her 'Wicked Wanda' instead! :-)

    Presumably that curiously half-baked 'Muff Prof' is a Portrait of the Artist in question. It's interesting that when news of Wanda's strip was first announced the editor made a point of saying it would be drawn by "the artist of Wulf the Briton". No doubt many Penthouse readers would still have been expected to retain fond memories of Express Weekly back in 1973.

    To be honest Wanda (and her successor Sweet Chastity) are not my favourite Embleton creations, but they certainly made for a startling change of pace after his run of spectacular nursery strips for the children's magazine Once Upon A Time.

  4. Aha Phil!!!

    You spotted the mistake - "I was just making sure you men were paying attention". I'm being about as honest as Captain Mainwaring here, just put it down to stressed blogmeister chasing impossible deadlines syndrome.

    I must admit Wanda and Chastity are a bit of a disappointment after Wulf. The artwork is fabulous but for me just lacks the soul of his work on Wulf.

    Apparently Ron's missus Elizabeth wasn't too keen either but Alan Vince has told me that while he was working on Wanda he really was very enthused about the whole project and was always keen to show visitors to his studio the latest pages in production.