Gene and Derek are excited to have John Porcellino back on the podcast. His new book From Lone Mountain has just been released by Drawn and Quarterly, and John talks in depth about the time in his life covered in this collection, as well as the process of pulling all of these experiences together. The book collects King-Cat Comics & Stories #62-#68, released between 2003-2007. The Two Guys ask John about the evolution of his compositional strategies, the role that place and landscape play in his comics, how both prose and illustrations function for self-exploration, his thoughts on punk and the DIY aesthetic, and how his comics serve as a release for, as well as a reflection of, the many changes in his life. This isn’t the first time John P. has been on The Comics Alternative — he came on for an interview around the release of issue #76 of King-Cat Comics & Stories — and the guys certainly hope that this isn’t his last visit.
And be sure to check out John’s online store, Spit and a Half. There you can find not only his King-Cat Comics & Stories, but also a variety of other mini- and indie comics by other creators, as well!
On this interview episode, Andy and Derek are pleased to have as their guest John Porcellino. Issue #76 of his long-running (twenty-six year!) minicomic, King-Cat Comics and Stories, has just been released, and the Two Guys talk with John about how different this issue is from his previous one. That issue, a heartfelt memorial to his cat, Maisie Kukoc, was more of a long-form story that may have expanded his audience. Andy asks John what readers who came to his work through issue #75 might think of the latest release, a more traditional issue of King-Cat Comics and Stories, and that question sets the stage for the rest of the conversation. Among the many topics John discusses in this interview are his processes of note-taking, the stylistic turning points of his career, his views on autobiographical comics, his experiences as a self-publisher and comics distributor, his philosophy of personal revelation, and the roles that music continues to play in his comics. In fact, one of the more interesting takeaways from the interview is John’s understand of his zines as being analogous to record albums. He constructs them in the same ways musicians might pull together a two-sided LP. Along the way, Derek and Andy also talk with John about his book-length stories and collections, specifically Perfect Example and The Hospital Suite. This is an engaging conversation, one that is really a long time in coming for The Comics Alternative. If there is indeed a King of the Minicomics, then John Porcellino should be the one wearing that crown.
If you’re old enough to remember pre-Internet days (like us geezers who make this podcast), you remember how new comics creators used to get known. No Web comics, Tumbler, podcasts, etc. Like John Porcellino, they hit the “zine” scene, announcing themselves through Factsheet Five and getting placement in a few comics shops. Porcellino’s King-Cat, with its accounts of his pets, his dreams (the sleeping kind), amusing anecdotes, and occasional fiction, drew notice in the comics world for the way it eloquently fed the reader’s life back to him, making note of things the reader might have missed. Drawn & Quarterly is releasing selected King-Cat comics in hardcover; Tim, Kumar, and special guest Tom Spurgeon discuss the first collection, King-Cat Classix.