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brilliant writing
exceptional art
historical bonus 2
total score 9
Snoid Comics Back
Back Cover
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Snoid Comics
1st Printing / December 1979 / 36 pages / Kitchen Sink
The character of the Snoid came to Robert Crumb in the winter of 1965-66 while he was in a perpetual funk after dropping some "fuzzy acid" (LSD to the uninitiated). For several months Crumb did nothing productive but draw incessantly in his sketchbook, during which he created most of the characters he would use for decades in his comics: Mr. Natural, Flakey Floont, the Vulture Demoness, Eggs Ackley and the Snoid.

The Snoid character is, bottom line, a short-statured asshole, and many people believe that Snoid, with his fetishes, sex cravings and disdain for materialism, is little more than an alter ego for Crumb. One of those people is Crumb's own brother Maxon, who wrote about the Snoid's purpose in The Complete Crumb #13, "It was like with Carl Barks and his character Scrooge McDuck: Robert and the Snoid. With Barks it was money, with Robert it was sex."

The Snoid made his professional debut in the first full-length underground comic Crumb ever drew, Zap Comix #0, and went on to appear in early efforts like Black and White Comics and Home Grown Funnies. But he never had his own book until this one came out at the end of 1979. The Snoid immediately takes charge on the inside front cover, pushing Crumb's character aside and declaring the book will "contain all stories of me doin' anything I want!" Asshole.

In the 10-page story that follows, "The Snoid Goes Bohemian," Snoid portrays an artist who maintains an eccentric, perpetually obsessed, visionary persona to dominate his adoring girlfriend. The Snoid may be able to pull the wool over his girlfriend's eyes, but her pragmatic grandparents, introduced on the final page, are not so easily duped. "The Snoid Goes Bohemian" provides Crumb an opportunity to exhibit his exceptional skill with dialog and human interactions; how people are centered in their own train of thought and connect, disconnect and reconnect with others in circuitous sequences.

Snoid Comics does not contain only stories about the Snoid, as those cute little Bearzy Wearzies, Jippo and Boopsy, who previously appeared in Head Comix, Zap and Arcade, return with a four-pager about combating the big illusions of life and climbing a tree to eat bird's eggs. It's a charming tale that reflects how real couples share their deepest fears, argue about silly stuff, take advantage of one another, and ultimately build an imperfect history that cements their love.

A few months before Snoid Comics came out, Robert Crumb created one of his all-time classics "A Short History of America," which sequentially portrays the rise of the urban landscape from the wilderness. Though it was published first in the CoEvolution Quarterly, the twelve original panels are reprinted here. It's a timeless representation of where we've been and where we are today, leaving it up to each of us to determine where we want to be tomorrow.

"Those Dharma Bhums" is a four-page exploration of one evening in the impulsive relationship of Jaf and Suzette, a young couple that squabbles and waffles their way through their romance, seemingly settling on one existential truth before winging their way to another.

The Snoid returns for the closing story, the nine-page "Mr. Snoid in One Foot to Heaven." It's an adventure that leads the Snoid into the seedy underbelly of prostitution as he pursues his all-consuming foot fetish. "One Foot to Heaven" doesn't quite hit the high notes of the stories it follows, but I'm sure Crumb had a very enjoyable time illustrating it.

Snoid Comics is one of those post-golden age undergrounds that shows why it was still important to have undergrounds. It presents very adult comics in a smart and insightful way that is faithful to its era yet somehow still virtually timeless. While never a best seller, Snoid Comics was a steady performer that built up a cult fandom, with four printings spread over two decades.
There are four known printings of this comic book, all by Kitchen Sink Press. The printings are easily distinguished as they all have different cover prices. The 1st printing (20,000 copies) has a $1.25 cover price, the 2nd (unknown copies, 1986) a $2.00 cover, the 3rd (unknown copies, 1989) a $2.50 cover and the 4th (unknown copies, 1998) a $3.50 cover. I feel confident in presuming that each printing had a minimum of 10,000 copies printed.
Like all Kitchen Sink comic books that I can recall, the printing editions are also noted on the inside front cover (Denis was a man who understood the obsessive collector as he was one himself). The 1st printing is the only one that doesn't have "R. Crumb's" at the top of the front cover and the 2nd printing is the only one that has "R. Crumb's" printed in yellow instead of white.

Robert Crumb - 1-36
Snoid Comics 2nd _ Snoid Comics 3rd   Snoid Comics 4th
2nd Printing
$2.00 cover.
3rd Printing
$2.50 cover.
4th Printing
$3.50 cover.