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solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 7
Back Cover
Back Cover
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Snarf #1
Only Printing / February 1972 / 36 pages / Kitchen Sink Enterprises
Launching your own anthology series of underground comics was the de rigeur thing to do if you were an underground comix publisher during the golden age. Apex Novelties had Zap Comix, The Print Mint had Yellow Dog, and San Francisco Comic Book Company had San Francisco Comic Book. And thus Kitchen Sink launched Snarf, it's own anthology title. Mind you, they also launched two other anthology series the same year, Death Rattle and Bizarre Sex, but Snarf was the first, the longest-running, and probably the one that remained closest to Denis Kitchen's heart.

The inaugural issue of Snarf opens with Kitchen's own "Rex Glamour, Process Server,"
an 11-page story that was compiled (and reconfigured) from 15 weekly strips Kitchen had produced for the Bugle-American newspaper with Bugle staffer Ed Goodman. "Rex Glamour" is a campy, joke-laden story about a lowly process server who talks and acts like a hardboiled private eye. This spoof on film noir makes all the right moves and provides one laugh after another, as so many Kitchen comics do. Even today, when the detective tropes are so beaten into the ground they elicit groans, Kitchen's take somehow seems fresh (and credit to Goodman as well).

If only the rest of the book could fully live up to Kitchen's opening story. Dutch cartoonist Evert Geradts, who founded the successful Dutch comic magazine Tante Leny Presenteert, gives it a good shot with "Ronald Ruck versus: The Human Woman." The story has some funny panels but ends with a weak (and literal) punch line.

Tim Boxell and Dave Herring contribute some solid comics, though they are on opposite ends of the spectrum, with Boxell going for revolting gross-out humor and Herring producing a sexy-dumb-blonde escapade. Wendell Pugh, of Googiewaumer infamy, demonstrates that he can put together nearly unreadable human comic stories with "Crescent City Rollo," which features a dope-smoking high school kid's adventures. It's actually not as bad as "unreadable" and has a certain liveliness about it, but it's not as funny or inventive as similar stories about similar characters in other books.

Snarf #1 gets the series off to a solid start, but the best of the series is yet to come.
Kitchen Sink printed approximately 20,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted. Denis Kitchen knew his market and rarely needed to produce additional printings of Snarf, as he printed 20,000 copies (a decent quantity for your average underground) of the first three issues and managed to sell them all and still not need to reprint. It was only when he downsized to 10,000 copies for the 4th issue that he underestimated the market and ended up doing a 5,000-copy 2nd printing. He printed 10,000 copies of each of the remaining issues and only needed a 2nd printing one other time (for the 6th issue, the only one of the series with a Robert Crumb cover).

Of course, Snarf was never a persistent success in the market, either. Kitchen did have to produce multiple reprintings of the early Bizarre Sex issues, which (like Kitchen Sink's Home Grown Funnies title) kept selling out reprintings for years after they were originally published.

Denis Kitchen - editor, 1, 2 (text), 3-13 (art and script collaboration)
Ed Goodman - 3-13 (script collaboration)
Tim Boxell - 14, 25-27, 30
Evert Geradts - 15-17, 28-29
Wendel Pugh - 18-24
Dave Herring - 31-34
Don Glassford - 36