Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Wild Cherries v01n03, October 1933 / Worth Carnahan Pt. 4, Publisher

Continuing our series on Worth Carnahan tonight here at Darwin Scans, a rarity - the third issue of one of the more outrageously named magazines of the day, Wild Cherries.

Get a closer look at the cover at Flickr.

Get the full high-res scan here: Wild Cherries v01n03 (1933-10.Publications Service Syndicate) (Darwination).cbr

or you can read online or download alternate formats at the Internet Archive here.

In earlier posts, we had an introduction to Worth Carnahan in a look at some of his work with the Bohemia group for Joey Burten, we took a look at his covers for some of Harry Donenfeld's earliest girlies, and looked at Beer, a pamphlet Carnahan published as part of the We Want Beer movement.

Beer was published in June 1932, and Wild Cherries, which Carnahan seems to recall as his lone but failed solo adventure in magazine publishing, began with the first issue in Summer of 1933 and would run four issues until December of the same year.  I'd note that Carnahan had other pots on the stove as well at the time, as he produced a illustrated pamphlet in 1932 for Franklin D. Roosevelt and also did freelance cover work for other magazine titles like Hot-Cha and Honeymoon Tales.  In fact when it comes to his involvement in Wild Cherries, I was somewhat surprised to see how little of the art in this third issue (besides the distinctive covers) is Carnahan's.  Conversely, I do get the sense that the excellent layout and design work is completely his handiwork.  It's very possible that more of his own art is in some of the other issues, though.  Before we explore the third issue I've scanned  for this post, let's get the other three covers up to complete the gallery.  These first two images come from waterfowlstampsandmore's excellent series on Carnahan from the vantage of his later career designing stamps for the state of Tennessee and the last one is likely an eBay image.

Wild Cherries 1933-Summer v01n01.Publications Service Syndicate cover Worth B. Carnahan 

Sometimes older varieties of dirty jokes can escape the modern reader, but there's not much mystery that a little magazine named Wild Cherries is going to be naughty.  The orchard and orchard walls feature prominently in the art of French magazine La Vie Parisienne which was a great influence on Carnahan.  The fruits of spring, the privacy of the boughs - no doubt the orchard is a ripe locale for a little bawdy behavior.  The logo design is so good, Carnahan uses it through all four issues. 

Wild Cherries 1933-09 v01n02.Publications Service Syndicate cover Worth B. Carnahan

The lass on the second issue offers pie, easily my favorite of the run.  A crest, a trophy dame in a pink nightie, and a rolling pin, all arranged atop a basket and what better way to enjoy cherries.
Wild Cherries 1933-12 v01n04.Publications Press Syndicate cover Worth B. Carnahan

The Repeal Number, things are popping now, New York City.  The hangover might have been too much, as this was the last issue.  

But let's take a look inside, shall we?  While this magazine often gets identified as a girlie pulp (due no doubt to Carnahan's covers), I'd term it a humor mag or humor digest, as there is little fiction (though I do like Lois Haines' Love Strategy at the end of the issue), little photography, and the mag is made up almost completely of gag cartoons and jokes.  Still, the use of spot design and illustration points to Carnahan's layout work on Burten's Follies and Artist and Models Magazine, and there's that art deco feel of the 20s magazines running throughout.

Let's kick it off straight from the editor's pen.  WBC is looking for some more audience interaction (key in getting a magazine following) but also sees a new day.  A new regime is at the helm, and Prohibition is done for.  But the blues, man, you have to chase those away with a smile.  Jokes are a strong tonic, and the editor says if you can't find a laugh in here, you're beyond help.

The contents

Boiled in Greece and Business Before Pleasure.

I think Mable is about to school him.

My favorite page in the magazine. The flapper is totally adorable.  Can anybody help me out with an ID?  It's a pretty distinctive signature, but I can't make it out.  He did a number of the cartoons in the issue with a unique style. The grinning moon is excellent.

get a better look at Flickr

and no surprise with Carnahan at the helm, a neat puzzle page, and adorned by cuties

at Flickr

A signed Carnahan single column spot illo that kicks off a recollection of a wild night in the nightclubs of Harlem full of drink and other forbidden excitements, a walk on the wild side. 

This time the sun is grinning at the moon.

at Flickr.

What Fools These Mortals Be.  The ice-Man cometh, beware ye travelling men.  What a lovely frame for a dirty joke, a capacity for the ribald and the elegant in the same package.

at Flickr.

A delightful magazine, and I'd love to get scans or copies of the other issues.  More Carnahan investigations on the blog to come, likely traipsing around a bit.  I do want to do his FDR pamphlet which I was amazed I was able to track down, but I'm missing the top half of the front cover.  I'm hoping for a complete scan and have some other Carnahan works to scan in the meantime when while I try and track the cover and inside front cover down.  And 100 other projects, but you know how it is in scanland, a playground that just gets bigger and bigger.

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