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Cherry Poptart - Issue One
|Publisher||Last Gasp, now Cherry Comics|
|Publication date||1982 - 2000|
|Number of issues||22|
First published in 1982 the comic series was originally called Cherry Poptart, but the title was changed to Cherry beginning with Issue #3 following litigation or threats of litigation by Kellogg's over its Pop-Tarts trademark, as confirmed by Welz himself. It has also been suggested that Welz decided that the "Cherry" name alone was better as a brand and looked better as a logo. Inside the comic Cherry's name was changed to Cherry Popstar, and that name was used in a number of stories, but she was most frequently referred to by just her first name.
The original series has also spawned a spinoff title in 1992 - Cherry's Jubilee - which ran four issues, and featured stories from other writers and artists alongside work by Welz. In addition, individual issues are collected in a series of Cherry Collections. Welz has also produced an issue of Cherry Deluxe featuring a story by Neil Gaiman.
The original publisher of the comic was Last Gasp through Issue 13. Kitchen Sink Press published issues 14-15, as well as reprinting the Last Gasp issues with some modifications (mostly ads). Beginning with issue 16, Welz formed Cherry Comics which currently publishes Cherry and related titles. Again, earlier issues were modified for the new printings, and some bear a "Second Edition" mark.
Though the 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. The series is among the largest-selling of the underground comics, and is among those titles credited with reviving that genre.
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, though he does experiment with different drawing styles, including a 3D edition. The strip so closely followed the "Happy Teenager" genre typified by Archie that lawsuits were threatened, but these failed to stop Welz, who overtly lampooned the Archie characters in a story "Vampironica", though that particular story was pulled from subsequent printings.
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