Wick Allison’s Raspberry Secret Is Out

This makes me really happy. An anonymous prankster has just made my morning.

Every month, with the publication of each new issue of D Magazine, I write a letter to our good, strong advertisers. I let them know what’s going on at the magazine, the reasoning behind some of our editorial decisions, that sort of thing. This month, I explained how a raspberry came to grace our December cover. You see, that raspberry in the lower left-hand corner doesn’t really exist. Or it didn’t exist when Kevin Marple took the picture of the cake from Sissy’s. We dropped it into the image digitally. Why? Here’s how I explained it to our advertisers:

What happened was, creative director Todd Johnson and I were working on the cover when the owner of D Magazine, Wick Allison, strolled into Todd’s office.

“What do you think?” I asked him.

“It needs a raspberry,” Wick proclaimed.

Todd and I rolled our eyes and made exasperated noises like 14-year-old girls who’d just been asked to put away all the clothes on their bedroom floor.

“Wick,” Todd said, “we can’t just drop a raspberry on the photo. The cake doesn’t come with a raspberry.”

“It should,” Wick said. “Everyone knows that. Look, I don’t even like raspberries myself, but that’s what people want with chocolate cake. A raspberry will add 10 points.”

He was talking now about newsstand sales, which we measure in copies.

“Ten points?” I said. “You mean, like, a touchdown and field goal? You’re saying if we stick a raspberry on there, we can make this a two-possession game?”

There comes a point in nearly every conversation with Wick Allison when the next word that you utter, no matter what it is, will get you fired. We’d reached that point in our raspberry discussion.

Thus was a digital raspberry dropped onto the cover. Our complement to Sissy’s chocolate cake.

I hasten to add that Wick started this magazine in 1974. He has forgotten more about publishing than Todd or I will ever forget or pretend that we learned. What I’m saying is, for all I know, Wick was right. I put up a poll yesterday asking FrontBurnervians to vote on which cover they liked best, the one we published or another option we’d considered. As it stands right now, the voting is tied. One hundred and seventeen people picked the cake cover, and 117 picked option No. 2, a picture of Lisa Garza. The raspberry might have done that. Without the raspberry, Lisa Garza might have trounced the cake. The raspberry, in fact, might have added 10 points.

Which brings us to my happy discovery this morning. Someone who apparently read that letter to our advertisers has launched a Tumblr called Drop a Raspberry On It. The slogan: “Adding ten points one raspberry at a time.” You’ve got to check out some of the D Magazine covers onto which this person has dropped a raspberry. In each case, there is no question that 10 points has been put on the scoreboard. I challenge this prankster to press onward with the raspberries. Onto what else besides D Magazine covers ought they be dropped?


  • DroppinBerries

    So many covers, so little time.

  • Wes Mantooth

    I wonder how many times Tim has been fired only for Wick to take him back like Schneider in One Day at a Time. Five? Ten?

  • Fern Ramsey

    This is so freakin hilarious.
    i cannot wait to see the city alive with more raspberries everywhere.
    and yes…i agree chocolate cake should have at least one raspberry.

  • Joy

    And nobody gives a s–t as to whether Sissy’s actually serves berries with this cake?

  • Daniel

    Exactly, Joy — that’s the tragedy. We’ve become so apathetic as a society.

  • JJT

    Joy has a point. For all we know what Sissy’s really serves is a Hostess Cup Cake with a wad of Cool Whip on top.

  • Joy

    Sex = Good
    Sissy’s Chocolate Cake = Better than Sex
    Sissy’s Chocolate Cake plus Wick’s raspberry = Sex ne plus ultra

  • WmBTravis

    Balance and calm are not preternatural to Dallas. I say go for it!

  • Dan Koller

    “There comes a point in nearly every conversation with Wick Allison when the next word that you utter, no matter what it is, will get you fired.”

    What about when he approaches you and just stares, waiting for you to choose the first word of the conversation? It’s unnerving but also exciting. Have I mentioned that I love my job?

  • Betty Dupree

    Well, now I’m going to have to order the brownie cake at Sissy’s, magazine in hand, and act incredulous when it arrives sans raspberry.

  • Amanda Shafer

    this is great!

  • TexasRangerMan

    Sounds like this Wick guy needs to go back for a course in Photo Use In The Digital Age at a local college. Magazine editors have gotten so cavalier about approving digital manipulation most folks think everything published these days HAS to be digitally-manipulated, which is quite sad. He didn’t have anything to do with moving the pyramids around on the National Geographic cover or slimming down Oprah a bit for her mag, did he? And he doesn’t moonlight for Sports Illustrated, does he: