1993: Cherry

Cherry (1993) #1-19 by Larry Welz

This series was originally published by Last Gasp, but then Welz took the series to Kitchen Sink in 1993. Unfortunately, it seems next to impossible to score any of those issues on ebay or anywhere else. Mile High has a couple, but for $100 per issue.

So I gave up. But! I have five of the Last Gasp issues anyway (I bought them back in the 80s, as a teenager *sshhh*), so let’s re-read them. I’m assuming the Kitchen Sink editions would be very similar…

And… content warning! If you don’t know, Cherry is a porn comic, and there’s no way around depicting sexual content when talking about this book, so if you don’t want to see cartoon people having sex, hie thee to different web site, ok?

There were tons of underground comics featuring sex during the original underground era, but there weren’t really that many that were out-and-out porn books — they tried to add “socially relevant” stuff, etc. Welz isn’t really part of that generation of artists, but he’s clearly working within the underground aesthetic — but without much politics, little social relevant stuff, no violence, and nothing really shocking in any way, really.

Instead the books are short, cute little stories, where Cherry does something (like babysitting above), where she has some kind of gag going on (she’s babysitting three families at once), and she snort some coke, and…

… what happens when the parents return? Well exactly.

Cherry was one of the first “pure” sex comics, I guess you could say. It was enormously successful, and people started paying attention, and by the 90s, many, many American companies were pumping out porn comics.

Cherry does have a real sense of fun — Welz does, say, a barbarian parody at random.

There’s quite a few pages of puzzles and crosswords, too.

And, yes, it can get really er detailed.

There’s also some non porn pieces.

And Welz drops in a couple pieces about having no ideas for comics (featuring himself).

And even a two-pager about Dori Seda! Cherry is a pretty charming package, really.

The final issue I have here, #8, has the least sex of them all. Most of the issue is a Wizard of Oz homage, and the gags aren’t really… er… all that funny. But I guess Welz was running out of ideas for the shorter sex pieces.

And that’s it. I don’t know how this series developed. There seems to be a lot more books, but there doesn’t seem to be any trade paperback collections in print? Which is odd.

R. Fiore writes in The Comics Journal #143, page 49:

Cherry #10 and II
Ah, Cherry Fucking Cherry. Another comic
I’m ashamed to admit gave me the bone once
or twice. I was in the room when Hugh was
reading Cherry #11, the special 3-D issue. I
remember his comment •was sort of half a chuck-
le, followed by “This is totally reprehensible.”
That’s my response, too, I guess. Mind you,
we’re chuckling at it, not with it. The stories
are so damn stupid and flimsy, I almost wonder
why Larry Welz bothers to include plots at all.
I would venture to say that Cherry is the ultimate
American fuck book: loads Of dicks and cunts,
and non-stop repetitive sex, with minimal in-
terruption to further the “story.” One issue is
virtually from the next. What’s
reprehensible, though, is the sulkr-bimbo quali-
ty of the lead character, Cherry, a vacuous, tit-
tering sex-object who “hearts” it. Is this the
reader’s dream girl? Is Welz putting down wo-
men by portraying them thusly? Cherry at least
seems self-possessed, and generally the master
of her own destiny.
I don’t even care now. I no longer have the bone,
and without the bone, they’re all just plain shit.
I’m so tirui. So tired of fuck bcx)ks, all so dreary
and tawdry. Frankly, I hope I never see another
fucking porno comic again in my life. They all
fucking suck! Suck, suck, suck! •

Amazing Heroes #115, page 79:

7. Cherry
All right—here’s the selection
that’ll probably alienate half my au-
dience and send the other half
screaming after my blood. But what
the hell—it won’t be the first time
(I still’ have to wear a disguise
around fans of the Man of Steel
This. unusual series was chosen
for my list because of the neo-
Freudian, pseudo-realistic gestalt
which makes each story a micro-
cosmic examination of every subtle
nuance that marks Americana as the
And if you believe that—I’ve got
some mint copies of Kickers Inc. I’d
love to sell ya.
The real reason I put Cherry in
my Top Ten is because this book is
depraved, disgusting, pornographic,
infantile and utterly lacking in any
redeeming value.
I love it.

This is the one hundred and sixty-first post in the Entire Kitchen Sink blog series.

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