Porcellino, John 1968-
PORCELLINO, John 1968-
Male. Born 1968, in Chicago, IL.
Home—P.O. Box 170535, San Francisco, CA 94117.
Cartoonist. Creator of "King-Cat Comics & Stories."
King-Cat Collection, BuLB Comix (Geneva, Switzerland), 1998.
King-Cat Nummer Eins, Reprodukt Books (Berlin, Germany), 1998.
Perfect Example, Highwater Books (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 2000.
John Porcellino has been creating his simple, autobiographical "King-Cat Comics & Stories" since the late 1980s. True to its original format, it is a photocopied, hand-stapled mini comic book that is now available by mail through the author's Web site.
Whitey, a reviewer for Optical Sloth online, wrote that Porcellino "is the best person currently doing mini comics. As far as I know, he's the best person who's ever done mini comics. I could have picked any issue of King-Cat to review, and it would have been positive." Issue number thirty-eight is about John's dog Sam, how she was always there for him, when during high school he became distant from everyone, including her. Whitey, who noted that he went through something similar with his own dog, wrote, "I'm lucky that I read this before my dog died too, because I was able to spend more time with and appreciate her. I'll always be grateful to him for reminding me of what my dog meant to me when I was growing up."
Issue number sixty-one comes with a collection of sketches of Porcellino's cat Maisie. Whitey remarked that "anybody who is even remotely interested in cats is going to find this adorable. I honestly don't know how anybody could come out of reading one of his comics in a bad mood."
Porcellino's work has been collected, first with his shorter French-language King-Cat Collection, published in Switzerland, and in Perfect Example, published by Highwater Books, which moved from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in late 2003. The second collection includes "Live Evil," "Belmont Harbor," and "Escape to Wisconsin."
Perfect Example focuses on that period of life when Porcellino was transitioning from high school to college. It shows him as a seventeen year old experiencing youthful depression, confusion, and infatuation. Booklist's Francisca Goldsmith called Perfect Example "an easy book for high school boys to consume."Teri S. Lesesne wrote in Voice of Youth Advocates that the book "is eloquent in its simplicity. There is nothing to distract from its messages to readers: We create our own happiness or misery, and we must face our fears if we are to conquer them." Andrew D. Arnold commented in an article for Time Online "that Porcellino manages to create an actual story arc out of life's random events should be cause for awe, but to also do it with such emotional insight and honesty seems frighteningly talented." Porcellino's drawings are sparse. He draws a car flat with two wheels and a horse as a blob that is identified by a flag that points to it. Arnold felt that "besides having a child-like charm, this style means also to be instantly absorbable. It turns comic images into their most basic signifiers. After all, how much visual information do we need to know we are seeing a horse or car? And in Porcellino's case, it perfectly reflects the almost Zen quality of his writing."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2001, Francisca Goldsmith, review of Perfect Example, p. 1545.
Library Journal, February 15, 2001, Stephen Weiner, review of Perfect Example, p. 164.
Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 2001, Teri S. Lesesne, review of Perfect Example, p. 226.
Comics Journal,http://www.tcj.com/ (March 2, 2002), Zak Sally, interview with Porcellino.
John Porcellino Home Page,http://www.king-cat.net (January 10, 2004).
Optical Sloth,http://www.opticalsloth.com/ (January 10, 2004), Whitey, review of "King-Cat Comics & Stories," numbers 38, 60, and 61.
Time Online,http://www.time.com/ (July 13, 2001), Andrew D. Arnold, "The Complex Simplicity of John Porcellino."