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snarf5
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solid writing
skilled art
historical bonus 4
total score 7
Back Cover
Back Cover
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AVERAGE SCORE 10
Snarf #11
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Only Printing / February 1989 / 36 pages / Kitchen Sink Press
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Well, it only took two years instead of six for Kitchen Sink to come out with the next issue of Snarf, so we can't complain too much about the delay. And, in fact, this issue begins a relatively rapid-fire publication schedule for the title, as it produces five new issues in 20 months. This issue also begins a new tradition of an editorial on the inside front cover that includes a description of the book's content. The first of these editorials is written by Denis Kitchen, but the remaining four are produced by co-editor Dave Schreiner.

Snarf #11 features a lovely front cover by Rand Holmes depicting an aristocrat indulging in the sniffing of a bicycle seat, presumably one that had been recently ridden by a young lady. As Kitchen points out in his editorial, this particular type of sniffing activity is known as "snarfing," a diversion Kitchen was entirely unaware of when he coined the title of this series some 17 years prior. Rather than try to hide from this new-found truth, Kitchen decides to make light of it with Holmes' help.

Holmes also contributes the lead story, "Basement Man in Latex Love," which is about a miscreant living in a basement who acquires an inflatable rubber sex doll. Straight out of the box the doll doesn't quite fit his needs, but the Basement Man's improvised customizations lead to unexpected nuisances. Holmes produced "Basement Man" in 1980 and it seems incredulous that it had not been published before (I would've sworn I'd seen it somewhere before), but I'm certainly glad it's been preserved in history with Snarf.

Mark Landman joins the Snarf roster as a computer-based cartoonist and chips in with two stories, the first of which isn't bad (and the second of which is). Dennis Worden returns with "Fundamentalism," a three-pager that has Charles Darwin returning from the dead to visit an atheist in the middle of the night (perhaps in a dream) to warn him that the theory of evolution might not be all Darwin thought it was. It's an unusual story for Worden and not ineffective, casting doubt on any people who make absolute declarations about the existence of God.

R.L. Crabb makes his debut in Snarf with "California," a two-page story diatribe against the golden state that exaggerates just a little bit to make its point. P.S. Mueller returns for the six-pager "Head Case" that's pretty good even if the punch line at the end falls a bit "flat."

A few years before Joe Matt's Peepshow became a smash hit, he began doodling his autobiographical one-pagers for Kitchen Sink. I believe his appearance in Snarf isn't Matt's first published comic ever, but it's not far removed from it. He gets five pages in this issue for his confessional comics and they are equally neurotic, obsessive and funny. Matt wil become a regular in Snarf for the remainder of the series, so chalk up another great talent that Denis Kitchen and Dave Schreiner help put in the spotlight.

Overall, Snarf #11 isn't quite up to the best of the past few issues, but it's another solid release and gets an extra historical bonus point for unearthing Joe Matt. Like the last issue (and like the remaining four issues), there's quite a few ads for other Kitchen Sink books, all of which are well worth tracking down online at mostly dirt-cheap prices.
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keyline
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HISTORICAL FOOTNOTES:
It is currently unknown how many copies were printed of this comic book. It has not been reprinted. Snarfing has an entirely new meaning today, which is to steal information or manipulate data in wireless, local networks. Snarf has also been usurped in the entertainment industry, as it became a character's name in no less than three comic books or animated TV shows. But there was only one that was the first and still the best! SNARF!
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COMIC CREATORS:

Denis Kitchen - co-editor, 2 (introduction)
Dave Schreiner - co-editor
Rand Holmes - 1, 3-8, 36
Mark Landman - 9-10, 18-19
Dennis Worden - 11-13
Steve Toornman - 14
R.L. Crabb - 15-16
Burk Sauls - 17, 34
Mark Schultz - 20 (ad)
P.S. Mueller - 21-26, 34
Joe Matt - 27-31
Howard Cruse - 32
Doug Potter - 33 (ad)
Reed Waller - 35 (ad)