King-Cat Comics [offers] a deceptively simple black-and-white accounting of events from his day to day…[that is] elusive and melancholy, and always inflected with Porcellino’s simple wit.The National Post
A mini-comics master's poetic musings on illness & the art of getting by
The Hospital Suite is a landmark work by the celebrated cartoonist and small-press legend John Porcellino—an autobiographical collection detailing his struggles with illness in the 1990s and early 2000s.
In 1997, John began to have severe stomach pain. He soon found out he needed emergency surgery to remove a benign tumor from his small intestine. In the wake of the surgery, he had numerous health complications that led to a flare-up of his preexisting tendencies toward anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Hospital Suite is Porcellino’s response to these experiences—simply told stories drawn in the honest, heart-wrenching style of his much-loved King-Cat mini-comics. His gift for spare yet eloquent candor makes The Hospital Suite an intimate portrayal of one person’s experiences that is also intensely relatable.
Porcellino’s work is lauded for its universality and quiet, clear-eyed contemplation of everyday life. The Hospital Suite is a testimony to this subtle strength, making his struggles with the medical system and its consequences for his mental health accessible and engaging.
Praise for The Hospital Suite
For an artist who so often picks out the fleeting poetic instant, Porcellino is equally and affectingly adept at tracing the prolonged, prosaic nature of suffering – and especially the tortuous reasoning of his obsessive-compulsive disorder.The Globe and Mail
A potential book of the year candidate...Highly recommended.The Comics Reporter
[The Hospital Suite] is a clear-eyed, penetrating book about the helplessness of illness which should bring Porcellino a wider audience beyond his cult following.Publishers Weekly
The Hospital Suite collects [Porcellino's] most harrowing and personal stories yet.Mental Floss
John Porcellino's The Hospital Suite is the work of a master comic creator at the top of his game. The art is strikingly simple, the narrative nuanced, the conclusion open-ended.London Free Press
The rawness of Porcellino's work, its unfiltered directness, is the essence of its charm.Los Angeles Times
The Hospital Suite by John Porcellino [is] a memoir... of undiagnosed illnesses... it's really fascinating and really self-revelatory and very clear-eyed.NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour
"...Quiet [and] haunting... The Hospital Suite is a reminder that the seemingly basic chemistry of words and picture can uniquely, compellingly address the deepest fears that face us—up to and including the ultimate one."Entertainment Weekly
The naked, humble honesty with which he reveals his most vulnerable weaknesses and mortifying lows makes this the bravest autobiographical comic I've ever read.Chicago Tribune
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.Booklist
…beautifully crafted, [The Hospital Suite is] a rough, occasionally harrowing journey, but Porcellino’s dogged determination to keep a grip on his dignity in the face of the most humiliating physical and emotional debilitation is ultimately the very best kind of life affirming.AV Club, Best Comics of 2014