Concept

Cherry (comics)

Summary
Cherry (originally Cherry Poptart) is an erotic comic book about a sexually adventurous 18-year-old woman and her friends, written and drawn by Larry Welz. Welz created Cherry Poptart, first appearing in underground comic Funnybook #1, in 1971. Though the character and subsequent self-titled comic is largely known as an erotic or pornographic book, it does garner critical merit for its humor and occasional political commentary. The Cherry character has also appeared in several free speech/censorship awareness campaigns. Contrasting the subject matter with more "innocent" connotations, Welz draws the comic in a simple style reminiscent of Dan DeCarlo, whose style was also the basis for the Archie comic book series. The strip so closely followed the "Happy Teenager" genre typified by Archie that lawsuits were threatened, but these failed to stop Welz. The series frequently parodied other pop culture material and current events. The series was first published in 1982 by small press company Last Gasp as Cherry Poptart. The first issue was an anthology, featuring three Cherry Poptart stories, one featuring another Welz character called Trina Tron, and two strips featuring similarly-themed strips from other underground cartoonists - Larry Todd's Vamperotica and Jay Kinney's The Wholesome Twins. This format was dropped for later issues, which largely revolved around Cherry and her friends, though each issue usually featured multiple shorter stories. The Todd and Kinney stories were also dropped from subsequent reprints of the series. From the third issue the book was retitled Cherry; Welz has stated this was in response to threats of legal action by Kellogg's over its Pop-Tarts trademark. Inside the comic the name was still occasionally used for the character, but generally the character was simply referred to as 'Cherry'. On occasion Welz would search for other artists to help on the title in the hope of moving it to a quarterly schedule, though generally he continued the title as a solo effort.
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