MAP OF MY HEART gets an A- from A.V. Club

“COMICS PANEL” / The A.V. Club / Keith Phipps, Tasha Robinson, Noel Murray, Jason Heller, Zack Handlen & Leonard Pierce / March 26, 2010

Mini-comics, of course, survived the ’80s, and one of the creators who helped keep the form alive is John Porcellino. Since 1989, his lovingly handmade King-Cat Comics has been a mainstay of (and inspiration to) the self-publishing world. His work began popping up in trade paperbacks via various publishers a few years ago, but the mini-comic has always been Porcellino’s main creative outlet, and his latest collection, Map Of My Heart (Drawn & Quarterly) draws from King-Cat’s fertile mid-period of 1996 through 2002. What makes it so special is the transition it encompasses; in ’96, the series was still morphing from a ragged yet contemplative autobio comic into far more placid and spiritual work. As the strips in Map trek further into Buddhist tranquility, a spacious sadness emerges: These are still stories drawn in simple, clean lines that sketch out Porcellino’s everyday worries and experiences, but by the end of the book—including an extended section about the death of his cat, an event that feels symbolic of so much more—that calm has grown into a quiet, emotional storm… A-

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