Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > CR Reviews

King-Cat Comics and Stories #56
posted December 31, 2000

Title: King-Cat Comics and Stories #56
Creator: John Porcellino
Publishing Info: Spit and a Half, $2
Ordering Numbers: None

The 56th issue of Porcellino's long-running classic of the mini-comic form can serve as either a cheaper substitute for, or appetizer to, the more ambitious Perfect Example collection. Besides, it's been a while since there's been an issue of King-Cat, and Porcellino even has a new catalog out.

In "Punt No Tell," we follow an 11-year-old Porcellino through a few typical elementary school days at the end of October 1979. Like Lynda Barry, Porcellino has the sort of memory that makes you remember details you may not have shared as if they were your own: an odd man in a street football game playing "all-time quarterback," and burning the end of a cork to help make a bum costume for Halloween. It's a slight story, more memory play than compelling narrative.

What always makes Porcellino worth reading is his highly-minimalistic approach, which forces the reader to pay attention to very spare visual clues while at the same engendering an informal just-friends dialogue between artist and reader. One may disagree with John P.'s approach, but to dismiss it outright somehow seems to speak against the medium's capacity for informal self-expression.

Originally appeared in The Comics Journal #223.