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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 7
Back Cover
Back Cover
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Snarf #14
Only Printing / March 1990 / 36 pages / Kitchen Sink Press
Snarf #14 gets off to another strong start with contributions from Frank Stack and French cartoonist Édouard Karali (who goes by the pen name Édika). Stack delivers a two-pager featuring his ever-suffering poodle Ping, who becomes little more than a nuisance when Dorman and his wife want to fly off to Italy. Édika gives us a six-pager called "First Signs of Activity of the Reproductive Glands," which is about two boys desperately trying to sneak into an adult-only theater to watch a porno. Édika's story is a dated nowadays with the proliferation of internet porn, but the essence of the venture hasn't lost its relevance.

Sharon Clayman and Al Via also return with another pair of two-pagers, the latter of which is the most effective, and endearing, story I've seen from them. Clayman's casual writing style is most captivating when it's employed in quasi-autobiographical tales and she does that to good effect in this issue.

Newcomer Gerry Jablonski arives with three one-pagers that focus on the astonishing mules and horses that interact with a redneck farmer named Ned. The underlying question seems to be which is more odd; the animals or the farmer? The stories seem like fragments of a bizarre universe and are curiously charming.

P.S. Mueller gets yet another six pages to continue the adventures of Whoppo, the sadistic clown. The clown's puppet is clearly the more interesting of the two main characters, and when the puppet gets lured away by an interloper the plot gets mildly intriguing. Though my general enthusiasm for Mueller's strips gradually increases with each exposure to Whoppo, it's never going to elevate to a passionate interest.

Steve Stiles returns to Snarf after an extended absence to provide the five-page "Work and Win," a surreal story based sometime in the future that somehow relates to doomed romance and...something. It's absurd and chock full of abstractions and obtuse segues yet somehow manages to keep the reader engaged. At least, as engaged as one can be with feeling disoriented.

Joe Matt rushes in to revitalize conventional comic storytelling with five more pages of his confessional one-pagers. The first, entitled "Some More Things You Need to Know About Joe Matt," is rather superfluous at this stage of our interfacing with Matt, but the other four are all gems. Mark Landman also returns to give us a one-pager on the inside back cover called "One Bright Day in the Middle of the Night." Literally poetic, the story is a little campy and demented at the same time, providing a delicate little treat to close the book.

Snarf #14 starts strong, stumbles a bit, then saves grace at the end. With only one issue left in the series, I'm already getting nostalgic about its terminus.
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)
Robert Burger - 1
Frank Stack - 3-4
Édouard Karali (aka Édika) - 5-10
Sharon Clayman - 11-12 (script), 27-28 (script)
Al Via - 11-12 (art), 27-28 (art)
Gerry Jablonski - 13-15
P.S. Mueller - 16-21
Steve Stiles - 22-26
Joe Matt - 29-33
Mark Landman - 35
Daniel Clowes - 36 (ad)