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snarf5
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solid writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 3
total score 7
Back Cover
Back Cover
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AVERAGE SCORE 8
Snarf #15
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Only Printing / March 1990 / 36 pages / Kitchen Sink Press
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The final issue of Snarf kicks off with a four-page collaboration between David Abu Bacha and Bernie Mireault called "How Sweet It Is!" It's about one guy giving another guy a banana to eat and then telling him a story about how he conducted a little science experiment with a banana when he was just a kid. The story rolls along nonchalantly until the last page, which somehow had me laughing hysterically. I don't know, something about the other guy's reaction just had me in stitches and I laugh out loud every time I look at that last page. Needless to say, I love the story.

The alternative comic-book legend Richard Sala graces the pages of Snarf for the first time with the one-page "Another Mad Doktor." It's a fairly innocuous story and only essential for Sala completists, but it effectively shows off Sala's expressionistic style and penchant for combining horror and whimsy.

The French cartoonist Édouard Karali (aka Édika) returns after a solid effort in the previous issue with the seven-page "Chomdu." It's about a dental surgeon visiting the local unemployment office. "Chomdu" features a slow-building dialogue between the dentist and a desk employee that gets funnier and more absurd the longer is goes on. It's a bit like a Monty Python sketch mixed with Benny Hill and Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First?" I thought it was fucking hilarious and consider it a true classic.

Wayne Honath (aka Wayno) gives us a two-pager in a different, more polished drawing style than his previous work, entitled "Another Night at Scottie's." It's a simple piece where three guys riff about different phrases for taking a shit. It's pretty damn funny too, depending on your mood and whether you embrace bathroom humor or not.

George Jablonski gets three more pages for his bizarre farmer Ned, who stars in two stories; the first with a cow and the second with a pig. Maybe I'm in a charitable mood, but Jablonski's stories, so delicately crafted and outlandish, are quite affecting. The exact same thing could be said about Danish cartoonist Kellie Strøm's two-pager that follows, which is a unrequited love story between two trees called "The Burning Bush and the Wooden Heart." Strøm is an exceptional illustrator who collaborated with Irish writer Stephen Walsh on Kitchen Sink's horror comic The Acid Bath Case in 1992.

After another effective one-pager from Mark Landman (who also has a second one later in the book that's pretty good), P.S. Mueller proves that he's nothing if not consistent with a four-pager about his sadistic clown Whoppo. I'll admit that none of the clown-and-puppet stories are total garbage but none are very good either, though this one may come closer than most.

Joe Matt also returns with four more one-pagers about his volatile life. Three of the pages concern his brief jobs at a fast-food restaurant, a blueberry farm and a comic-book shop. While all four pages are, as usual, very good, they don't seem to quite hit the pinnacle of his previous entries. But it's fuckin' Joe Matt, so I'm not gonna fuckin' bitch about it!

All good things must come to an end, and so it must be with Snarf. There's not much acknowledgment that the end is at hand anywhere in the book, though Dave Schreiner's introduction on the inside front cover does mention "we've been experiencing some 'bad numbers' with Snarf," but he declares "there will be a next issue" and even shows off the front cover art of Snarf #16 by Joe Matt (pretty awesome, too).

There's even a web page dedicated to Snarf #16 that shows an entirely different front cover by Mark Landman (also pretty awesome) and promises that the new issue is "coming soon!" Snarf #16 would be edited by Mark Landmand and would feature Drew Friedman, Jim Woodring and Tony Millionaire, among many others, But then, the copyright for the book on the web page is 1996, so you know that "coming soon" turned out to be not so soon! With much regret I must report that #16 was never published.

Denis Kitchen certainly must have had a soft spot for Snarf if he kept it around for 18 years, and the title had proven useful for attracting and featuring new talent. It never really caught on with a large and loyal audience, so every issue probably seemed touch-and-go, but it held on long enough to establish a certain historical presence that a slew of other anthology titles would envy. Not many golden-age undergrounds could claim to survive all the way into the 1990s, so Snarf is a proud member in a pretty exclusive club with Zap Comix, Rip Off Comix, Slow Death, Wimmen's Comix, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and Young Lust.
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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.
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COMIC CREATORS:

Denis Kitchen - co-editor
Dave Schreiner - co-editor, 2 (introduction)
Mark Landman - 1, 20, 32
David Abu Bacha - 3-6 (script, pencils)
Bernie Mireault - 3-6 (inks)
Richard Sala - 7
Édouard Karali (aka Édika) - 8-14
Wayne Honath (aka Wayno) - 15-16
George Jablonski - 17, 26-27
Kellie Strom - 18-19
P.S. Mueller - 21-24
Steve Stiles - 25
Joe Matt - 28-31
Eric Nesheim - 35
Will Eisner - 36 (ad)