(1946-) was an original member of the "Underground Comix"
movement in the late '60s and 1970s, perhaps equally well
known as the founder and publisher of the pioneering
publishing house Kitchen
Sink Press (1969-99). He also founded the
Comic Book Legal
Defense Fund(1986-), is the author or
co-author of several books, a literary and art agent, a
longtime editor, and a curator of comic art exhibitions in
America and overseas. A monograph of Kitchen's artistic
Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen,
was published by Dark Horse in 2010. With partner John
Lind he created the Kitchen
Sink Books imprint in partnership with
Dark Horse Comics in 2013. He was elected to the Will
Eisner Hall of Fame in San Diego in 2015.
Early career: Kitchen wrote,
illustrated, self-published and hawked an irreverent mimeo
zine called Kleptomaniac while still in grade
school, continuing it for twenty-five issues as Klepto
into high school. (William Horlick H.S., Racine WI).
Despite its irreverence Horlick gave him a Distinguished
Graduate Award in 2017. The creative and entrepreneurial
experience proved addictive. At the University of
Wisconsin—Milwaukee (UWM) in 1967, he co-founded Snide,
the campus's first humor magazine, and also drew a weekly
strip, "Sheepshead U," for the UWM Post while
majoring in Journalism. After graduation and a brief army
stint, his professional cartooning career began in 1968
when he created and self-published Mom's
Homemade Comics #1
during the tumult of a burgeoning counterculture. The
publication of Mom's #1 coincided with the birth
of the underground comix movement and Kitchen quickly
networked with like-minded colleagues in the Midwest and
The success of his self-published Mom's
Homemade Comics #1 in 1969 led to Kitchen's
formation of Krupp
Comic Works, Inc. in Milwaukee, which
soon developed into a small "hippie empire" encompassing Kitchen
Sink Enterprises (later Kitchen Sink Press),
the long-running publishing imprint (1969-99); Strickly
Uppa Crust, a Milwaukee comics and head
Cartoon Factory, an offbeat commercial
art studio; Ordinary
Records(which produced a 10-inch disc
by R. Crumb & His Keep-on-Truckin'
Orchestra, the 1st 78 rpm record issued in over twenty
years); Krupp Cards (irreverent Xmas and
all-season greeting cards); Krupp
Mail Order (spun off to partner Tyler
Lantzy in 1975); and Krupp Distribution, which
distributed comics and related items internationally (sold
in 1980 to Capital City Distribution). He separately
(later simply the Bugle) a Wisconsin-based
alternative weekly newspaper that lasted seven years
(1970-77). In 1976 he also co-founded the Fox
River Patriot, a weekly
alternative rural newspaper (parting from it in 1980). For
both newspapers he regularly contributed color covers,
comic strips, illustrations and custom ads. But Kitchen's
primary focus over nearly five decades has been publishing
comic books, graphic novels and related items, first as
Krupp / Kitchen
Sink Press then to a much smaller degree,
Kitchen Publishing, and currently Kitchen
AS AN ARTIST
own comics have appeared in anthologies such as Blab!,
Blabworld,Twist, Bijou Funnies,
Consumer Comix, Mom's Homemade Comics,
Mondo Snarfo, Arcade, The Spirit
Magazine, and Dark Horse Maverick Anthology.
He contributed covers and/or stories to Snarf, Dope
Comix, Bizarre Sex, Energy Comics, Quarter Moon, Weird
Trips, The Great Marijuana Debate, The Badger, Nard n'
Pat, Alcohomics, Comix Book, Krupp
Mail Order Catalog, The Bugle, and The Fox
His surreal cover for the late Jim Spencer's "Major
Arcana" album has been called a psychedelic classic. He
provided illustrations for several issues of the
Milwaukee Journal's Insight magazine and strips
for national magazines such as Head, High Times
In recent years a 2-page story "That Vexing Thing
Upstairs" appeared in Blabworld #2 (Last Gasp,
2014); he's in the gigantic Little Nemo: Dream
Another Dream (Locust Moon, 2015); and his 5-page
graphic biography of Dr. Seuss, featured in Masterful
Marks (Simon & Schuster, 2015), was
highlighted in The Huffington Post:
One-Man shows: Kitchen's
one-man shows have been held at the University of
Wisconsin—Oshkosh (twice); Ripon College; The
Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (2010-11); the
University of Wisconsin—Parkside gallery (2014);
the Scott Eder Gallery in Brooklyn (2015-16); and
the Amerikahaus Gallery in conjunction with the
Munich Comics Festival (2017); An upcoming one-man
exhibit is planned for Amador, Portugal in
Group Shows: Kitchen's
art has been exhibited in numerous multi-artist
shows nationally and internationally. Venues
include: Chazen Museum (Madison, 2009);
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (North
Adams, 2011); Society of Illustrators/Museum of
American Illustrators (New York, 2014, 2015,
2016); Kuntsmuseum (Lucerne, Switzerland 2013);
Valentin Karlstadt Museum (Munich, 2013); "Little
Nemo: Dream Another Dream" traveling exhibit (NYC,
Philadelphia, Columbus OH, other sites); Herter
Gallery (University of Massachusetts, Amherst,
2017); and the "Comics! Manga! Graphic Novels"
exhibit at the Bundeskunsthalle (Bonn, Germany,
Will Eisner Hall of Fame. Elected by peers and
presented at Comic-Con International, San Diego.
2014. Lifetime Achievement Award “In
recognition of a career dedicated to promoting and
defending the culture of comics.” Presented in Asbury
2012. Visual Art Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented
by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters and
Wisconsin Museum of Art.
2010. Harvey Award for Best
Biographical, Historical or Journalistic work: The
Art of Harvey Kurtzman - Harvey Award banquet,
2009. Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award. Presented
at the Eisner Awards ceremony, Comic-Con International,
2005. Defender of Liberty Award.
Presented by the C.B.L.D.F. at Eisner Awards ceremony,
Comic-Con International, San Diego CA
1999. Special Harvey Award “In
commemoration of Leadership and Service.” Presented at
MoCCA Fest, New York City.
1997.Small Press Pioneer Award.
A "Barkster" statue presentedDiamond/Gemstone comics
industry event, Baltimore MD.
1996.Comics Publisher of the
Year. The first and only such award presented
by Staros Reports, Atlanta.
1991.Underground Comix Hall of
Fame. Charter inductee. Chicago.
1986. Inkpot Award for “Outstanding
Achievements in Comic Art” by San Diego Comic Convention.
Both Kitchen Sink Press and Kitchen
Sink Books over the years have received a
disproportionate number of the comics industry's Eisner
and Harvey Awards and nominations,
occasionally even dominating the awards, despite a market
share generally under 1%. In 1989 Kitchen Sink Press led
all publishers with 13 Eisner nominations, edging DC
Comics, which had eleven. In 1993 Kitchen Sink won six
Harveys, more than any other company. In 1994 Kitchen Sink
won five Harveys and two Eisners. The company won another
five Eisners and Harveys combined in 1995. In addition to
nominations and awards for published titles, Denis Kitchen
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
(CBLDF). Kitchen founded the 501 (c) 3
non-profit organization in 1986, dedicated to defending
the comics industry's First Amendment rights, after one of
his company's titles, Omaha the Cat Dancer, was
busted in Lansing IL and the store's manager faced serious
charges. Kitchen served as the CBLDF's President and board
Chairman for the organization's first eighteen years
Awards Committee. Following the
dissolution of Kitchen Sink Press in 1999, when there was
no conflict of interest, Kitchen chaired this committee
2017. "Will Eisner: A Centennial Celebration." Le
Musée de la Bande Dessinée, Angouleme, France. The
accompanying catalogue, Will Eisner: The Centennial
Celebration (in English and French) was published
by Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse, 2017.
Eisner: The Centennial Celebration." Society
of Illustrators, New York, and traveling to Amador,
Portugal. Co-curated with John Lind and different from the
simultaneously running exhibit in France. The accompanying
catalogue, Will Eisner: The Centennial Celebration (in
English and French), was published by Kitchen Sink
Books/Dark Horse, 2017.
2015. "Will Eisner: 75 Years of The Spirit." Jewish
Museum, Munich, Germany.
2015. "Will Eisner: A Brief Retrospective." Geppi's
Entertainment Museum, Baltimore MD.
2013. "Robert Crumb and the Underground."
Kunstmuseum, Lucerne, Switzerland. Co-curated with James
2013. "The Art of Harvey Kurtzman."
Society of Illustrators, New York. Co-curated with Monte
2005-06. "Will Eisner: A Retrospective"
(2005-06). Originating at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon
Art, New York City and travelling to Utah Valley State
College, Orem, UT; and the University of Massachusetts,
2004. "Harvey Kurtzman" exhibition.
Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, New York City.
1995. "Harvey Kurtzman: Retrospective of a MAD
Genius." Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco.
Lind & Associates, LLC
(2005-present). Partners John Lind and Kitchen represent
talent, package books, and oversee the Kitchen
Sink Books imprint at Dark Horse Comics.
Clients include the Harvey Kurtzman
estate, the Al Capp estate (Capp
Enterprises, Inc.), the Jerry Robinson
estate, Eleanor Davis (Secret
Science Alliance), Todd Hignite (The
Art of Jaime Hernandez), Howard Cruse
(Stuck Rubber Baby, Wendel), Bill Stout
(Legends of the Blues), Liniers
(Macanudo, Big Wet Balloon) and others.
Kitchen Sink Books include Frank Miller's Sin
City Curator's Collection, Harvey
Kurtzman's Jungle Book and Complete
Trump, Tony DiTerlizzi's Realms;
The Best of Comix Book; Will
Eisner: The Centennial Celebration,
Monte Beauchamp's Popular Skullture,
Kitchen & Hansen Agency, LLC
(1999-present). This agency no longer accepts new clients,
but Denis Kitchen and partner Judith Hansen placed
numerous high-profile graphic novel properties, including
The Book of Genesis by R.
Crumb (W. W. Norton), Will Eisner's
library of graphic novels and his textbook
trilogy (W. W. Norton) and The
Spirit (DC Comics); Mark Schultz's Xenozoic
Tales (Dark Horse and Flesk), Alissa
Torres' American Widow(Random
House); James O'Barr's The Crow
(Pocketbooks), the ElfQuest library
(DC Comics); andKings in Disguise
and its sequel On the Ropes by
James Vance and Dan Burr (W. W. Norton).
Krupp's Gallery & Curio Shoppe
(1999-present). Also a division of Denis Kitchen
Publishing Co., LLC. The Curio Shoppe offers out-of-print
and rare graphic novels, underground comix, posters,
underground newspapers, pinback buttons and related comics
merchandise, most of which you'll find no where else.
Steve Krupp and Stacey
Kitchen operate the webstore of curious comix
DK CONTRIBUTIONS TO SELECTED OTHER BOOKS
Capp's Complete Shmoo, 2 volumes.
(Dark Horse Comics, 2008-2011). Compilation, Introductions
and extensive annotations.
Trump (Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse,
2016). Compilation, essay, and annotations to the
first-ever collection of Harvey Kurtzman's noble but
ill-fated satire magazine with an all-star cast for Hugh
Hefner's early Playboy empire in 1956-57.
Abner: The Frazetta Years (4
volumes for Dark Horse Comics, 2003-2004). The
Eisner-nominated series collected for the 1st time the
Sunday "Li'l Abner" strips (1954-1961) that Frank Frazetta
penciled and/or inked for Al Capp's studio. Compilation,
Introductions, and extensive annotations.
Annie Fanny(2 volumes for Dark
Horse Comics, 2000-2001). The first
complete collection of the ribald and gorgeous satire
series by Harvey Kurtzman & Will Elder (and sometimes
Russ Heath, Al Jaffee, Arnold Roth, and Frank Frazetta).
Compilation, Introductions and extensive annotations.