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King-Cat Comics and Stories #67
posted January 3, 2007
Self-Published, mini-comic, 36 pages, October 2006, $3
It may be that we read too much into individual issues of John Porcellino's King-Cat
. The class of all modern mini-comics series, and as far as I know the only comic of its type to regularly generate material within its pages collected in North America and overseas not just in "old works and oddities" fashion, Porcellino's work is confessional both in the type of stories it presents and the way in which we're told. We not only get an idea of what's going on in Porcellino's life but how he feels about these experiences, both during the moment they happen and later on, putting them into comics form. One thing that's great about King-Cat
as a series is that it plays the same expressive role for Porcellino that writing and art used to play for a lot of people, particularly in less sensitive times: an ability to make physical an inner life that mirrors, or even stalks, the physical ones.
I mention all of this, because something about the latest issue, #67, struck me in a way that leads me to think Porcellino was reaching out in more direct fashion, grappling with ideas and events in a more upfront fashion than by circling issues through narrative. But I'll be damned if I can point a finger at anything that would sever as an example. In fact, Porcellino's comics are as elegant and spare as ever: a night spent in the car, waking up at night to muse over roads not taken, staring into the cat's eyes, encountering a phrase etched into a building. I love the visual of the bed cartoon, single lines to suggest a body cover, and Porcellino can get away with suggesting rather than depicting individual blades of glass in a way that has to be seen to be believed. Issue #67 is also intermittently heavy on the words, with a couple of strong pictorial essays. If you haven't been buying King-Cat
, you owe it to yourself to take in Porcellino's appraoch, and this issue is very strong in that sense. If you're like me and buying every issue, this is all to let you know the new issues is out.