FROM LONE MOUNTAIN is here: John has never left, he has always been here for you
One of the truly great things about comics is that John P is always working on a new issue of King-Cat Comics & Stories. It has been a constant in our weird maddening charming art form for nearly thirty years. This is a comfort. John began as punk upstart filled with passion and anger and a fool's confidence and has mellowed, deepened into an engaged, patient, sympathetic artist-for-life. His life is right there on paper for us to see. There have been so many times when I found an anchor in King-Cat. Everything arounds us moves so fast. Time runs away. We make and lose friends and barely remember people who were once very important to us. In King-Cat, John is talking about seeing Frank Sinatra in concert or listening to Husker Du. Sometimes I didn't care about something when he wrote about it but I care now. I caught up to John. Or we caught up to each other. This is just one of the great things about John's work. He'll wait for you to catch up. He's always there. His comics exist in all times. Waiting.
Can we talk about John's art for a minute? One of the greatest things about comics is discovering the many ways that an artist arrived at how they draw. Their modern style is usually arrived at through economy, a desire to tell a story as quickly and as efficiently as possible. There are years of decisions in each stroke. An exactitude is reached. John's drawings began as an angry punk scrawl and like John mellowed over the years. Each panel is minimal but exact. Perfect, simple, gorgeous. John's drawing is what comics should be—it's a single decisive voice. John knows what he wants and you look and you know too.
My rough estimate says I've been working with John for eighteen years going back to when I published his first book collection of King-Cat stories (Perfect Example). King-Cat has been in my life for longer. A constant. There is always a stack of King-Cats nearby. I find a stack in my desk drawer or wedged between Chester Brown and Marc Bell books on my shelf (out of order!!) From Lone Mountain is in stores today. Each of John's books is a treasure OF COURSE but I do think this book is special because it is the perfection of what I think of as John's mature style. From Lone Mountain focuses on John's love of the road through numerous stories of road trips. In the course of this book John moves from Denver to San Francisco and finally back to the Midwest where it all began. John walks and observes the birds and trees and animals and pants around him. By books end, John recounts a number of zen parables. He has stopped moving and is looking for answers in the mind. You should all buy this book. You should all put a pen to paper and write John and say thank you, thank you for sharing. Thanks, John.