Richmond, VA: Sunday World Company, 1935. Tabloid (46cm); 12pp; illus. On newsprint. Fragile, with splits at folds, costing a few characters but no loss of sense; complete and Good.
Inaugural issue of an extremely scarce and short-lived Depression-era tabloid. The Sunday World appears to have set its fortunes on the sale of the most lurid content allowable. The lengthy cover story of this issue, "Sex Drug War On In Richmond", details the infiltration of marijuana into the city's best neighborhoods, describing the "love drug" and its effects in lurid detail: "Use of the drug primarily excites the sex passions of the smokers. Under its influence men and women abandon all conventions and all pretention to decency...animal love is the first thought in their minds while they are under the influence of the weed...smokers next pass into the homicidal stage...addicts of the drug are prone to love, to fight, to wound and to kill." Other prominent feature stories include a near-fatal stabbing, a case of amnesia, and the arrest of a bawdy house operator for public drunkenness. A lighter feature predicts that airplanes will soon be available for as little as "seven hundred dollars" and that Richmond will soon see hundreds of these "Lizzies of the air" circling the city, flown by pilots with "only a couple of hours" of instruction. There are also vaudeville reviews, horse track tip sheets, and a scattering of comics.
Alas, populist sensationalism appears not to have been the order of the day – at least not Sunday, at least not in Richmond – as the Sunday World survived for only a few issues. All recorded holdings for physical copies are at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, which holds the current issue and four others, with the run ending in November, 1935.