KING-CAT CLASSIX in Las Vegas Weekly

“Autobio comics are all the rage” / Las Vegas Weekly / J. Caleb Mozzocco / May 29, 2007

The first time I encountered one of cartoonist John Porcellino’s self-published King-Cat zines at a small press show, I remember busting on its childlike drawings and diary-like scripting with my friends: “Jeez, I could do that ... left-handed ... while drunk,” I scoffed. Now that I’m older (and a little wiser), I’ve gained a much greater appreciation for Porcellino’s skills.

This massive, 380-page, heavily annotated tome should offer everybody a chance to similarly reevaluate and appreciate Porcellino’s work.

He’s been writing, drawing and publishing King-Cat since 1989, which amounts to over 65 issues at this point. His work definitely fits into both the folk artist/outsider art and punk rock aesthetics, particularly his early efforts, but you can’t do anything for almost 20 years without getting increasingly proficient at it.

Reading through this collection, you can see the rough, edgy energy and occasionally crude drawings evolve into an elegant, well-regulated crudity before your eyes, becoming a highly refined minimalism. By the end of this collection, the stories resemble the beautiful, insightful work of Porcellino’s recent graphic novels, Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man and Perfect Example.

Many of the stories herein are day-in-the-life anecdotes about his childhood and crappy day jobs, pet biographies and adaptations of his dreams. Reading them all in 2007, it’s striking how far ahead of his time Porcellino was. Autobio comics are all the rage now, and blogs and webcomics are filling the roles once occupied by zines and minicomics, making it a lot easier for a lot more people to follow in Porcellino’s footsteps.

Share on Facebook
Share on Tumblr
Share via Email