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excellent writing
skilled art
historical bonus 3
total score 8
Back Cover
Back Cover
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Snarf #3
Only Printing / November 1972 / 36 pages / Kitchen Sink Enterprises
Snarf #3 is the only underground from the golden era that can boast a front cover by the legendary Will Eisner. Not surprisingly, the story behind the cover turns out to be much more than just another cartooning gig for Eisner.

and Denis Kitchen first met when Kitchen was invited by Phil Seuling to the New York Comic Art Convention in the summer of 1971. Eisner actually initiated the meeting in New York, asking Seuling if he could arrange an introduction to Kitchen, who was "astonished" to think that the veteran Eisner was angling to meet him. The meeting started off great, as Eisner peppered Kitchen with question after question about how the business of underground comics worked. Then they visited the convention floor so Kitchen could show Eisner some actual undergrounds, and Eisner randomly picked up an S. Clay Wilson comic book and...that didn't go over so well.

Eisner was shocked by the graphic images in Wilson's book (I'm guessing it was Bent, which The Print Mint had just published a couple months earlier) and he didn't hang out with Kitchen for the rest of the show, but Kitchen started corresponding with Eisner by mail and the two developed a friendly relationship.

A year later, when Eisner and Kitchen were in discussions about releasing two Spirit reprints with some new interior pages, Eisner agreed to do a cover for Snarf #3. The Snarf cover is a classic, depicting the Spirit and Commissioner Dolan busting into the Krupp Comic Works office, which is appropriately located in a sewer and populated by hippy types and staff artists. Kitchen Sink would end up publishing those two reprints of Spirit, too, but then the reprint concept was stolen by Jim Warren, who lured Eisner to Warren Publishing with the promise of newsstand distribution. That deal lasted for 16 issues, but then Eisner and Warren split and Eisner returned to Kitchen Sink, which published 25 more issues of The Spirit Magazine.

So back to Snarf #3! This issue improves from the first two just from jettisoning Wendell Pugh from the line-up, which is cruel to say to any of his fans but nevertheless true. Pugh is a unique talent, but unique doesn't always mean awesome, and his convoluted storytelling and arduous plotting was far from reader-friendly.

In place of Pugh we get Peter Loft and Tom Christopher, who join the Snarf team and provide more conventional comic stories that have their own ups and downs. They both introduce their signature characters, one being a postal carrier duck (by Loft) and the other being an omnipotent dwarf (by Christopher).

Loft would go on to appear in several other Kitchen Sink comics, but Christopher gets the upper hand here, as his dwarf is established as a deviant lunatic in the first half of the book and then appears out of the blue in the latter half of a seemingly unrelated story about a pair of everyday house painters. Christopher has a perverse sense of humor, which of course we all like, but unfortunately we will not hear from him again in Snarf. He has an esteemed history in fanzines and small press comics, but is probably best know for his ink work during the nascent years of Marvel's Silver Surfer comic. Christopher has his own website, filled with arcane insights about beatniks and early comics history.

Snarf #3 is distinguished by the lead story by Ed Goodman and Peter Poplaski called "Bucky Wright, Boy Radical." Bucky is a spoiled 17-year-old teen who becomes enamored with the style of the "radical" hippy movement without really embracing any of its ideals or philosophy, except what is needed to fit in with the craze. He soon experiences that joining a radical movement just to raise hell has its consequences.

Goodman also collaborates with Kitchen on an all-too-brief series of comics entitled "Ramshackle & Slumlord Realty," which adroitly lampoon the money-grubbing nature of predatory real estate investors. Evert Geradts returns to provide a weak one-pager and a solid two-pager featuring his two anthropomorphic cows (getting really down and dirty with some ass fucking).

Snarf #3 gets a bonus point just for the Eisner cover (which is reason enough to own the book), but overall it remains roughly on par with the content of the first two issues, which means Snarf gets off the block with three solid issues of underground comics.
Kitchen Sink printed approximately 20,000 copies of this comic book. It has not been reprinted.

Denis Kitchen - editor, 2 (text), 16-17 (art), 33-34
Will Eisner - 1
Ed Goodman - 3-9 (script), 16-17 (script)
Pete Poplaski - 1 (color), 3-9 (art), 33-34, 36 (color)
Peter Loft - 10, 20-24
Tom Christopher - 11-14, 25-32
Evert Geradts - 15, 18-19
Tim Boxell - 36