Booklist Reviews The Hospital Suite

“Booklist on The Hospital Suite” / Booklist / Gordon Flagg / October 2, 2014

Porcellino has been self-publishing his autobiographical minicomic King-Cat since 1989, and for nearly as long, he’s been suffering from serious health problems. After experiencing debilitating stomach pain, he underwent surgery at age 28 to remove a noncancerous tumor from his small intestine. The effect on his mental health was devastating: the chronic anxiety he’d long endured turned into full-blown obsessive- compulsive disorder and depression. As he struggled with his illness, he moved back in with his parents, his marriage collapsed, and even his ability to draw comics was hindered. The Hospital Suite chronicles these travails as well as his efforts to deal with them through conventional medicine, therapy, nutritional treatment, and Zen practice, leading to his hard-won, if tentative, recovery. Porcellino’s unstinting depiction of his harrowing ordeal is offset by his gentle graphic approach; with its childlike minimalism and unvarying, unshaded lines, Porcellino’s might be the simplest and most straightforward drawing style in all of comics, which only adds to the relatability and honesty of this poignant memoir.

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