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Larry Welz

reitet auf der Underground Comic Welle seit den späten 1960ern und erschuf in seinen Anfangsjahren satirische Sex- und Gewalt-Strips wie zum Beispiel "Captain Guts" (1969).

Der amerikanische Künstler wurde 1948 in Bakersfield, Kalifornien als Lawrence Welz geboren.

1969 arbeitete er für das Heft Yellow Dog; herausgegeben von Print Mint in Berkeley. Es zeichnete für San Francisco Comic Book (einem Inprint von Gary Arlington, der den ersten Comicladen in Amerika unterhielt), Funnybook, Bakersfield Kountry Komics und American Flyer Funnies. In diesen Anfängen entwickelte er bereits Ansätze für seine späteren Figuren, allen voran Cherry Poptart.

"In early 1970, Captain Guts, his first solo book came out. It sold really well so after three issues he immediately stopped doing it. Did a few other titles and Cherry Poptart appeared in Funny Book no.1, there was no #2. Ten years later, after having opened a sign shop, having a couple of children, getting a divorce, becoming a single Dad, starting carnival ride painting Cherry Poptart appeared in her own book. It started selling really well and the rest is history." (1)

1984 belebte er erneut seine Comic-Figur Cherry Poptart, die eine Parodie auf die Archie Comics darstellt und von Welz sogar im gleichen Stil und Layout inszeniert wurde. Er zeichnete die Reihe in einem gefälligen Underground-Cartoon-Stil, der sich recht locker und skizzenhaft präsentiert.

Wenn sich Archie, Betty, Veronica und Jughead noch familienfreundlich und unschuldig im Soda-Laden treffen, da verputzten - dem realen Leben vielleicht ein wenig näher - Cherry und ihre Mädels reihenweise Alkohol, Drogen und vor allem Männer. Aber auch Frauen, denn Cherry ist keine Kostverächterin.

Die Serie wurde recht schnell erfolgreich und Welz konnte im Nebenerwerb T-Shirts, Kleidung und Unterwäsche, Poster und Sticker verkaufen. Ausgabe 11 wurde sogar als 3D-Comic konzipiert.

Der erwachsene Inhalt machte die Serie recht schnell zum Ziel amerikanischer Sittenwächter. Ein Comicladen in Florida bekam Mitte der 1990er Jahre Schwierigkeiten, als dieser eine Ausgabe der "Cherry Anthology #1" an einen verdeckten Ermittler der Polizei verkaufte. Die Anklage wurde zwar später fallengelassen, doch der Schaden für Welz und den Comicladen war angerichtet.
Bereits 1986 musste Welz vor Gericht ziehen, denn Kellogg wollte nicht das seine Marke Pop-Tarts mit dem "schlüpfrigen" Comic verwechselt wurde. Von da an hieß die Serie (ab Ausgabe 3) nur noch Cherry.

Frech, ungestüm, anarchistisch und lustvoll präsentiert sich die blonde Cherry als das "nicht-typische" Mädchen von nebenan. Ihr unabhängiges Denken hat sie von ihrer rassigen Mutter Pepper geerbt. Das Mutter-Tochter-Gespann gerät innerhalb der Serie in etliche gemeinsame Sex-Abenteuer.
Obgleich der Hauptaufhänger jeder Geschichte im Grunde Sex ist, stellt die Serie dem Leser insgeheim die Frage wie eine Welt aussehen könnte, in der Sex nur Vergnügen bedeutet; ohne Furcht, Gewalt oder Gewissensbisse. Die Cherry-Comic bieten eine Fantasie-Welt im Einklang mit der "Make love"-Bewegung, in der Sex keine emotionalen Konsequenzen hat, ohne Furcht vor ansteckenden Krankheiten oder ungewollter Schwangerschaft.

"Cherry is eternally horny, as is every character in the series, including her mother, Pepper - a divorced MILF (Mom I'd Like to Fuck) - who often engages in threesomes with Cherry and a boyfriend. Other characters include Johnny Fuckerfaster, Ellie Dee, and the BDSM-loving Lola Palooza (Veronica to Cherry's Betty). But Cherry was always more than just a "fuck book," and it relied heavily on satire and parody, attacking everything from hypocritical morals of politicians and evangelists to parodies of Michael Jackson, The Wizard of Oz, Friday the 13th movies, Rambo, and Indiana Jones." (2)

Im Laufe der Reihe steckte Welz Cherry in eine Fülle von verrückten Szenerien. Ob auf einem Erotikfilm-Set, bei einer Zeitreise sich selbst begegnend, oder mit den Akte X-Akteuren auf der Suche nach außerirdischen Lebensformen. Letzteres Abenteuer ist sicherlich der Tatsache geschuldet, das Welz Ende der 1990er nach Roswell, New Mexico zog und dort einen Souvenirladen eröffnete.

"On one downtown sidewalk, green, two-toed footprints meander a half-block from Main Street to the Roswell Space Center, Larry and Sharon Welz's souvenir shop. One night in the summer of 1998, the Welzes loaded a ladder into a convertible and drove down Main Street, painting black alien eyes on street lamps. … They didn't give us permission," Larry says, "but they didn't really blame us for doing it, either." (3)

Innerhalb der Heftserie bzw. in den Ablegern ("Cherry´s Jubilee"/"Cherry Collection") gab es auch einige Gastbeiträge von Künstlerkollegen wie Mark Bodé, Nail Gaiman oder Larry Todd.

Cherry war auf mehreren Kampagnen der "free speech/censorship awareness" vertreten und hat auch den Comic Book Legal Defence Fund unterstützt (siehe Bild rechts). Und beide Institutionen sind auch heutzutage noch bitter nötig.

Denn wie Welz durch seine Figur erläutert: "Fuck ´em if they can´t take a joke!" (2)

Veröffentlichungen/Publications (Auswahl/Selection):
- Cherry Poptart (Last Gasp Comics, Kitchen Sink Press, Cherry Comic, 1982-2000) 22 Ausgaben
- Cherry´s Jubilee (Last Gasp, 1992-1994) Spin-off Serie
- Captain Guts (1969-1971) 3 Ausgaben
- Rip off Comix

Links:
- Cherrycomix Webseite (ab 18)
- englischer Wikipediaeintrag Larry Welz
- englischer Wikipediaeintrag Cherry
- Comic Book Legal Defence Fund
- Twittern mit Larry

Quellen/Sources:
(1) larrywelz.com/blog
(2) Erotic Comic 2 (Tim Pilcher)
(3) usatoday30.usatoday.com

This translation is unedited!

 

Larry Welz

 

has been riding on the underground comic wave since the late 1960s and created satirical sex and violence-strips such as "Captain Guts" (1969) in his early years.

 

The American artist was born in 1948 in Bakersfield, California as Lawrence Welz.

 

In 1969 he worked for Yellow Dog magazine, edited by Print Mint in Berkeley. It was awarded for San Francisco Comic Book (an inprint by Gary Arlington, who ran the first comic book store in America), Funnybook, Bakersfield Kountry Komics and American Flyer Funnies. In those early days he developed approaches for his later figures, above all Cherry Poptart.

 

"In early 1970, Captain Guts, his first solo book came out. It sold really well so after three issues he immediately stopped doing it. Did a few other titles and Cherry Poptart appeared in Funny Book no.1, there was no #2. Ten years later, after having opened a sign shop, having a couple of children, getting a divorce, becoming a single Dad, starting carnival ride painting Cherry Poptart appeared in her own book. It started selling really well and the rest is history." (1)

In 1984 he revived his comic character Cherry Poptart, which is a parody of the Archie comics and Welz even staged it in the same style and layout. He drew the series in a pleasing underground cartoon style, which presents itself quite relaxed and sketchy.

When Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead still meet in the soda shop in a family-friendly and innocent way, Cherry and her girls plastered - perhaps a little closer to real life - alcohol, drugs and especially men. But also women, because Cherry is not a cost-waiter.

The series became quite successful and Welz was able to sell T-shirts, clothes and underwear, posters and stickers. Issue 11 was even conceived as a 3D comic.

The adult content made the series quite quickly the target of American moral guards. A comic book store in Florida got into trouble in the mid-1990s when he sold a copy of the "Cherry Anthology #1" to a covert police investigator. The charges were later dropped, but the damage to Welz and the comic book store was done.
In 1986, Welz had to face a trial because Kellogg did not want his brand Pop-Tarts to be confused with the "slippery" comic strip. From then on, the series (from issue 3 onwards was called Cherry.

Naughty, impetuous, anarchistic and full of lust, blonde Cherry presents herself as the "non-typical" girl next door. Her independent thinking inherited from her hot-blooded mother Pepper. The mother-daughter team gets into several sexual adventures within the series.
Although the main hanger of every story is basically sex, the series secretly asks the reader what a world could look like in which sex is only pleasure; without fear, violence or remorse. The cherry comic offers a fantasy world in harmony with the "make love"movement, where sex has no emotional consequences without fear of contagious diseases or unwanted pregnancy.

"Cherry is eternally horny, as is every character in the series, including her mother, Pepper - a divorced MILF (Mom I'd Like to Fuck) - who often engages in threesomes with Cherry and a boyfriend. Other characters include Johnny Fuckerfaster, Ellie Dee, and the BDSM-loving Lola Palooza (Veronica to Cherry's Betty). But Cherry was always more than just a "fuck book," and it relied heavily on satire and parody, attacking everything from hypocritical morals of politicians and evangelists to parodies of Michael Jackson, The Wizard of Oz, Friday the 13th movies, Rambo, and Indiana Jones." (2)

In the course of the series Welz Cherry put in a plethora of crazy scenes. Whether on an erotic film set, meeting yourself on a journey through time, or with the X-Files in search of extraterrestrial life forms. The latter adventure is certainly due to the fact that Welz moved to Roswell, New Mexico at the end of the 1990s and opened a souvenir shop there.

"On one downtown sidewalk, green, two-toed footprints meander a half-block from Main Street to the Roswell Space Center, Larry and Sharon Welz's souvenir shop. One night in the summer of 1998, the Welzes loaded a ladder into a convertible and drove down Main Street, painting black alien eyes on street lamps. … They didn't give us permission," Larry says, "but they didn't really blame us for doing it, either." (3)

Within the series and in the offshoots ("Cherry?s Jubilee"/"Cherry Collection") there were also some guest contributions by fellow artists such as Mark Bodé, Nail Gaiman or Larry Todd.

Cherry was represented on several campaigns of the "free speech/censorship awareness" and also supported the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund (see picture on the right). And both institutions are still very much needed today.

Because as Welz explains through his figure: "Fuck ´em if they can´t take a joke!" (2)

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