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excellent writing
skilled art
historical bonus 4
total score 9
Mom's Homemade Comics 1 2nd _ Mom's Homemade Comics 2 _ Mom's Homemade Comics 3
Mom's Homemade #1
Mom's Homemade #2 Mom's Homemade #3
Mom's Homemade Comics

1969-1972 / The Print Mint - Kitchen Sink

Ah, good ol' mom's homemade comic books. Er, rather, Mom's Homemade Comics, of course, the trailblazing Milwaukee-based underground comic book series from Denis Kitchen. This tidy little three-issue series stands out as one of the most compelling case studies of one man in an obscure geographic location leveraging the underground comix revolution to build a publishing empire (well, an empire that lasted 30 years, anyway).

In 1969, not long after the revolution began in San Francisco and sprouted up in Chicago (with Bijou Funnies), Kitchen was inspired by the power of the medium and launched his own comic book title, Mom's Homemade Comics ("Straight from the Kitchen to you!"). After The Print Mint produced 4,000 copies of the book, Kitchen personally solicited copies at the Schlitz Circus Parade in 1969 with his brother and a couple of friends. Kitchen and his buddies eventually sold 3,000 comics copies of the book in the Milwaukee area alone.

Fueled by this success, Kitchen founded Kitchen Sink Press in 1970 and soon launched an underground newspaper based in Milwaukee, The Bugle-American, which ran strong for nearly eight years. He also formed Krupp Comic Works as the parent organization for Kitchen Sink Press and subsequently launched a record company and a commercial art studio under the Krupp banner. One of his divisions, the Krupp Syndicate, began syndicating comic strips to several dozen underground and college newspapers. In the decade that followed, Kitchen Sink published titles like Bijou Funnies, Mr. Natural, Bizarre Sex, and Home Grown Funnies, which featured creators like Robert Crumb, Jay Lynch, Skip Williamson, and Richard Corben. Kitchen went on to publish comic books and graphic novels by leading contemporary creators like Charles Burns, Scott McCloud, Alan Moore and many others. All of this activity was driven by Kitchen's entrepreneurial spirit and sharp business mind.

But it all began with mom's...rather Mom's Homemade Comics, which first established Kitchen's genius. The remarkable thing about Mom's is that all three issues somehow still manage to be funny today, over 40 years after their original publication. This is almost entirely due to Kitchen's dazzling wit with words, which elevates the series above the average underground.

Mom's Homemade Comics launched an enterprise that endured as one of the three longest-lasting publishing companies in the underground (Last Gasp and Rip Off were the others). When Kitchen Sink finally folded in 1999, Kitchen founded Denis Kitchen Publishing and currently operates that business on a much smaller scale than his previous venture. But Denis Kitchen is still actively perusing the comic book industry, seeking the next great project that inspires him.