underground comix at comixjointarchiveswebcomixfeaturesmarketplaceforumsearchmickeyback to title overview go to sample pagesgo to next comicblank sidebarblankbrickblankbrickgo to head comix samplesgo to hear the sound of my feet walking  blankbrick review-ugheaderheaderblankrightheader spacerlink to abcdefghijkllink to mnopqralpha qrstuvwxyzalpha blank right
excellent writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Back Cover
Back Cover
(click for larger image)

If you like this comic,
you might also enjoy
dirty laundry comics
Dirty Laundry Comics
Snarf #13
Only Printing / December 1989 / 36 pages / Kitchen Sink Press
Snarf #13 opens with five more pages of what co-editor Dave Schreiner likes to call Joe Matt's "unexpurgated diary." If you've been reading Matt since his first appearance in Snarf #11, you've probably grown to like his personal musings and perhaps even come to empathize with him. If so, you'll probably love his contribution to this issue most of all, as he hits multiple high points and his work seems to improve with every issue.

Matt's one-page confessionals are like small diamonds encrusted in a tennis bracelet; individually they sparkle with life, but collectively they dazzle with brilliance. Each is an individual chapter of a larger story that grows more interesting when absorbed as a whole. Matt's style of writing is evocative of Robert Crumb's shameless rants and memoirs, and one of the pages here addresses how derivative Matt's drawing may be, but also points out how Crumb (appearing as himself, drawn by Matt) was also influenced by his cartooning predecessors.

In addition, Matt confesses why he hates living in Montreal, the joys of being raised Catholic, the trauma of his love relationship, and how he is "sick of drawing so small!" Every one of the five pages is a neatly encapsulated, very funny chapter in the growing yarn of his distressing life. As Schreiner notes in his introduction, Matt has "been getting a lot of attention lately," and it won't be long before he begins his bedrock Peepshow serial for Drawn and Quarterly. His early strips for Snarf and other publications would be published in 1992 by Kitchen Sink in Peepshow - The Cartoon Diary of Joe Matt.

By 1989, Kitchen Sink had published dozens of collections of traditional comic greats like Milton Caniff, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner and Al Capp. Snarf #13 reprints a Powerhouse Pepper story by the legendary Basil Wolverton. The six-page "Fightin' for a Fortune" seems as fresh and vibrant as when it had first been published in Joker Comics in 1942.

Doug Allen is yet another newcomer to Snarf. Allen is best known for Steven, a weekly feature that had been running in college and alternative newspapers since 1977. Collections of Steven would soon be reprinted in their own Kitchen Sink comic-book series, but here we get the six-page "Droopy Drawers and Bikini Bear," which depicts the odd and one-sided relationship of the titular characters. Not quite as great as the legendary Steven, but representative of Allen's cruel and bizarre world view.

P.S. Mueller provides "Laugh Riot," a six-pager featuring his sadistic clown that I'm still not embracing. This story offers a bit more poignancy than his previous one, but to me it still doesn't pay off. Sharon Clayman and Al Via also return with two stories; "Celebrity" and "Removing a Girl's Bra: A Pubic Service" (that's right, "pubic" not "public"). Both are two-pagers and neither hits it out of the park, but at least they don't drone on annoyingly.

England's Jerzy Szostek get four pages for "John Lessiond," which follows the trials and sufferings of an unlucky soul whose misfortunes lead him to unexpected posthumous glory. The story begins and ends with absurdity, but it's rather fun anyway.

Snarf #13 has as strong a beginning as any issue of the title, seemingly on its way to becoming the best of a strong series. But the inherent risk of anthologies is that weaker material can bog down any collection. Overall, however, #13 is still another solid entry in Kitchen Sink's longest-running series.
It is currently unknown how many copies were printed of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.

Denis Kitchen - co-editor
Dave Schreiner - co-editor, 2 (introduction)
John Pound - 1
Joe Matt - 3-7
Frank Stack (aka Foolbert Sturgeon) - 8
Basil Wolverton - 9-14
Doug Allen - 15-20
P.S. Mueller - 21-26
Sharon Clayman - 27-30 (script)
Al Via - 27-30 (art)
Jerzy Szostek - 31-34
Eric Nesheim - 35
Mark Scultz - 36 (ad)