Updated weakly.

John P. has a PATREON. / King-Cat 77 is OUT.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

2015: YEAR IN PREVIEW


King Crayon!  Photo by Olive Booger.

2014 was a long, busy year for ol' John P., and in 2015 I'm looking forward to hunkering down a bit more and getting a lot of drawing done.

First thing on my plate is King-Cat #75, the All-Maisie Issue, which I'm aiming to have out by TCAF or at least CAKE.  It will be a double-sized issue.

Following that I plan on finally releasing South Beloit Journal, my daily diary comics from 2011.  And working on the Strange Growths collection by Jenny Zervakis, which I hope to have out in 2016 -- the first non- John P. Spit and a Half release since 1997!

Travel-wise, I'm cutting way down, with my longest trip likely being TCAF in May, where I hope to table with Zak Sally and Noah Van Sciver.  Otherwise I'm concentrating on more local, easy-to-get-to events, like CAKE, the various Midwestern zine fests, and Autoptic in Minneapolis.

I also hope to spend less time online in the coming months, which paradoxically means (I hope) I can keep this blog updated more regularly with full-length entries.  I have a lot of stuff backed up that I just haven't had the time to post, including bird-banding adventures, two (TWO!) trips to Okefenokee Swamp, the Pierre Feuille Ciseaux event, and a travel diary from my recently completed 25th Anniversary Tour.  So.

Thanks everyone for all your support in 2014 and beyond!  It was wonderful getting out and meeting so many people, both new friends and old.  My best to you--  see you soon!

John P.

Monday, December 8, 2014

RAPPORT DE BELOIT

Santoro rocks the mike, Cleveland: 11/30/14

Hey dudes and dudettes,

I'm back at last from tour-- 31 dates in 74 days.  Now I'm home for good through the long cold winter.  I'll be drawing King-Cat #75 (in hopes of an April/May release), revamping my distro site, and otherwise cuddling with a variety of mammals.

Look for my tour diary to appear here sometime in the next week week or two, and then lots of pictures of birds and alligators.

ALSO, King-Cat tee-shirts, books, and zines make GREAT GIFTS™.

Thanks everyone!
John P.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

WEST COAST OR BUST



So, I'm heading out to the west coast in a few days, for the third and final leg of my Hospital Suite/Root Hog or Die/25th Anniversary Tour.  I'll be traveling via Minneapolis, and, apparently, about 9"-13" worth of snowstorm, so wish me luck.

I don't want to sound alarmist, but if you're on the West Coast and want to see me, have me sign books etc (and you don't make it out to the Midwest or Northeast often), please come out and say hello on this tour.  I really don't know when or if I'll be making it out to the Pacific Coast again anytime soon.  It's just too much travel, and I'm getting old.

Meanwhile, here are my tour dates; PORTLANDERS please note that the venue for my event has recently been changed from the Hollywood Theatre to the Q Center (event time stays the same):

TUES 11/11: MINNEAPOLISMN, Boneshaker Books* – 7 PM
SAT 11/15: SEATTLEWA, Short Run Festival – 11 AM -6 PM
SUN 11/16: SEATTLEWA, Short Run @ Central Cinema* - NOON
M 11/17: PORTLAND: Reading Frenzy @ Q Center* - 7 PM SHARP
W 11/19 SAN FRANCISCOCartoon Art Museum* - 6 PM
TH 11/20: LOS ANGELES, CA, Giant Robot* – 7:30 PM
SUN 11/23: DENVERCO, Cowtown Comix Fest - 11 AM -5 PM
SUN 11/23: DENVER, CO, Wax Trax/Kilgore Books* - 6:30 PM
M 11/24: LAWRENCEKS: Wonder Fair* - 6 PM
T 11/25: ST. LOUISMO, Enamel Gallery* - 7 PM
SAT 11/29: CLEVELAND OH, Mahall's 20 Lanes* - 7 PM
SUN 11/30: CLEVELAND OH, Genghis Con - 2-7 PM


*Includes screening of Root Hog or Die, the King-Cat documentary 



Thanks everyone!  See you on the road...
John P.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

THE KINKS' MUSWELL HILLBILLIES ALBUM



The famously clichéd answer to the question "Beatles or Stones?" is "The Kinks," right?  It's one of those clichés that's really kinda true.  The Kinks had both the songwriting chops of the Beatles and the ragged edge of the Stones, and created a body of work that stood on its own, transcending the limitations of those other two groups.  I started listening to the Kinks when my pal Mr. Mike played their entire Singles A+B collection on the newfangled CD jukebox at a tiki bar in San Francisco once, on a west coast road trip.  Of course I'd heard "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night" on oldies radio, but hearing all their early 45's, in order, was an ear-opening experience.  Brilliant slashes of melodic, smart rock and roll.

Sometime later I heard the Kinks Kronikles record and was stunned by the breadth and depth of the songwriting on display.  Not just the songwriting, but the shambling attitude they took with their music, and the brilliant, sometimes viciously applied humor.  This was something that the Beatles and Stones lacked.  Ray Davies wasn't joking around in his music, but used sarcasm and wit to lash out at a world gone evil and stupid, and I could relate.

There's another thing the Beatles and Stones lacked -- a real sense of social justice.  The Beatles were rich from the time they were young and never really dived into political, class-conscious critique; The Stones were too jaded to care, and songs like "Street Fighting Man," no matter how menacing, felt a bit phony.  The Kinks, on the other hand, took pains to side with the working class, even going so far as to break with party lines in criticism of union bosses who lorded over the workers below them that they'd ostensibly sworn to serve.  Songs like "Get Back in Line" broke through political gamesmanship to focus on the actual, living, breathing workers who were exploited on all sides from birth to death.

Somehow, I'd never heard the Kinks' Muswell Hillbillies album until a few months ago.  Even Lola, its underappreciated predecessor, had the hit title track to guide listeners through its tales of hope and resignation.  Muswell Hillbillies, though, never seemed to gain much traction, especially in the States, where its weird mix of British music hall tunes and American country must have sent a lot of people head scratching.

What Muswell is though, is the Kinks most distinctive and perfect record of their long career.  On it, Ray Davies' disgust with the modern world, and its mistreatment of the "ordinary man" is grim, funny, dark, and powerful, and the nuance and misdirection is beautiful.  In "Have a Cuppa Tea," a rollicking ode to the English Pastime, he cuts suddenly to the bone with the refrain, "For Christ's sake, have a cuppa tea."  In that one line there lies all the hidden suffering and latent anger of the working class.

In "Uncle Son," he paints a portrait of a working man who's faced exploitation on all sides from day one-- Unionists, socialists, conservatives, and preachers have all had their way with him, using him for the symbolic power his authentic life stands for.  When Davies sings "Bless you, Uncle Son-- They won't forget you when the revolution comes" you know damn well that this ordinary working stiff, who just strove to get by, will simply be dumped on the pile of those who came before him, who were used, abused, misled and wrung dry, for one selfish purpose or another.

The other songs on Muswell are equally fine.  From start to finish it’s the Kinks' greatest accomplishment.  Give it a listen, for old Uncle Son's sake, if nothing else.

--John Porcellino




Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ROOT HOG DVDs FOR SALE!



Hey everyone, the long-awaited King Cat documentary, ROOT HOG OR DIE, will debut at this weekend's SPX Festival in Bethesda, MD, where DVDs will also be available for purchase.  After that I'm taking the show on the road with combo screenings of the movie and signings for my new D+Q book THE HOSPITAL SUITE.  Tour dates are here.  Can't make it out?  ORDER the DVD now direct from ol' John P. or stream it online for only $5 at www.gumroad.com/kilgorebooks.

The DVD includes the entire full-length 100 minute documentary, plus outtakes, bloopers (!), and an all-new exclusive 8 page comic book!

Prices for mailorder (INCLUDING postage and packing) are as follows:

USA: $18.00 via cash/check/mo OR $18.82 via PayPal
CANADA: $24.19 USD via PayPal
REST OF WORLD: $26.22 USD via PayPal

Checks, cash, money order payable to:

John Porcellino
PO Box 142
South Beloit, IL 61080

OR PayPal to:

kingcat_paypal AT hotmail DOT com

Thanks!
John P.






Friday, August 29, 2014

ROOT HOG TEE SHIRTS FOR SALE!



Hey Gang -- we're printing up these nifty tee shirts to sell on tour!  If you're not going to be able to make it out to any of the tour stops, we're making them available for pre-order too -- order now and we'll ship them right to your door once they're available!

Shirts come in S, M, L, and XL and are two-color black and cream prints on 100% ORGANIC RED COTTON! Nice.

Prices (including shipping and handling charges) are as follows:

USA: $25.00 via cash/check/mo OR $26.00 via PayPal
CANADA: $29.00 USD via PayPal
REST OF WORLD: $33.00 USD via PayPal

Send well-concealed cash/check/mo payable to:

John Porcellino
PO Box 142
South Beloit, IL 61080

Or PayPal to kingcat_paypal AT hotmail DOT com

BE SURE TO SPECIFY WHICH SIZE YOU'D LIKE!

PLEASE NOTE:  I'll be on tour until the end of September, so pre-ordered shirts will ship in OCTOBER. Rest assured we'll get them out to you as soon as possible!

Thank you!  All proceeds go to the Gibby Dog Fund.



Monday, July 21, 2014

IT LIVES!



Just got this photo from Julia Pohl-Miranda in San Diego:  The Hospital Suite exists!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

SWEET HOME ELGIN


I'll be tabling at this event in Elgin Saturday, with loads of Kool Komix. Come on by and meet Clifford the Big Red Dog!

"Comic Book Mania Convention will be held on July 19 at Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL. Hours are 10am-5pm; admission is FREE! Meet in person the artists and writers of your favorite comics. Thousands of comics for sale. Free facepainting for the kids. Wear a costume and automatically win a prize! A Prize Drawing will be held on the hour; winners must be present to win.

At 11:00, writer Russell Lissau and artist Justin Castaneda will present "How to Make Comics". Learn all about the comics making process.

Also at 11:00, our Manga and Anime Club will be meeting. Both of these events will be on the second floor at the library.

Bring the kids to see our library-wide exhibit "Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog". If you are lucky, you may get to meet Clifford himself!

Bring your cameras and get your picture taken with your favorite super-heroes! Brought to you by We Are Cosplay!"

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

THE KING-CAT MOVIE


Hi everyone,

Here's the trailer for the upcoming King-Cat movie, directed by Kilgore Books' Dan Stafford:


The movie will debut at SPX in September, and then I'll be traveling around the country screening it.  Some of the tour dates have already been confirmed, and are listed here.  Otherwise, check back for more info as it becomes available!

Also, check Dan's Blog, where he posts updates, outtakes, and other fun stuff.

Thanks!
John P.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

CAKE 2014


Tablemates Zak Sally and Noah Van Sciver

So, my last big show until the fall -- CAKE 2014.  In only its third year, CAKE feels like a well oiled and FUN comics festival.  So many people make the trip out, and Chicago itself has such a remarkable comics scene, that the whole thing feels like a family reunion.  Add to that the laid back Midwestern vibe and you've got a winner.

Saturday I spent a bunch of time wandering around and saying hi to people; Sunday I stayed at my table and when I was away I ran around quickly picking up great comics.

Noah with the illustrious Tony Millionaire

Victor "Bald Eagles" Cayro and Becca Kacanda

Millionaire, JP, and Mt. Baldy

When Tony stood up he kept going.  Dude's like eight feet tall.



View of downtown from the rooftop deck

Mssrs. Chris Cilla and Onsmith

Lizz Hickey and Bill Kartalopoulos

Nils Balls

Nicole J. Georges earns her Comic Book Merit Badge

The great Keiler Roberts

Just a friendly tap on the horn from Aaron "#4" Renier and Jeremy Tinder

JP, Jessica Campbell, and a smilier AR

Billy Ireland's Sooper Awesome Caitlin McGurk

CAKE organizer and all-around bon vivant Max Morris

Greg Means (R) reminds Alec Longstreth what it felt like when the Blazers made it past the first round

The always charming MariNaomi

Nicole models the new King-Cat brand Muumuu

And last but not least, my roommate Twiggy


Saturday, May 31, 2014

BIRD CITY USA PLUS ROCKS


A few weekends ago, I finally finished the work for The Hospital Suite, so I had a chance to have some fun.  On Saturday Stephanie and I went to our first meeting as members of the Badger Lapidary and Geological Society, followed by a fossil-hunting trip out to a few quarries in the Monroe, Wisconsin vicinity.  We found a lot of old animals, including our first "Trilo-bits" (but no complete specimens).  I figured I knew a good bit about Animals and Vegetables already, so it was time to learn some about Minerals.  We've been going out and rockhounding for a few months, but this was my first time doing so with people who knew what they were doing, so it was plenty educational.

Your 'umble narrator.

When we started fossil-hunting a few months ago, it was very surprising to me that one could walk up to an average, ordinary rock outcropping and find old animals sitting there that are millions of years old.

Bivalve clam, found in chert

Clockwise from top: Some kind of gastropod (snail), snail, galena (silvery mineral), sphalerite (black mineral)

A nice big chunk of rock featuring some lovely "fossil hash" (what rockhounds call a hodgepodge mix of various fossils all grouped together).  If you zoom in on the cephalopod hole in the lower left, you'll see it's filled with pyrite and sphalerite crystals.  Pretty cool.

Gastropod in matrix

Fossil hash consisting mostly of brachiopods


Then, that Sunday we finally got to attend the Sand Bluff Bird Observatory's annual Bird Fest.  Usually we're out of town that weekend, or just plain forget about it, or hear about it too late.  This time we made it.  It was great getting to be around a bunch of like-minded people, and to see these reclusive and somewhat small birds up close was remarkable.  It almost gave me the shakes I was so excited.

 White-eyed Vireo
(Vireo griseus)

Gray Catbird
(Dumatella carolinensis)

Brown-headed Cowbird (Female)
(Molothrus ater)

 Common Yellowthroat
(Geothlypis trichas)

Nashville Warbler
(Vermivora ruficapilla)

Western Palm Warbler
(Setophaga palmarum palmarum)

So all in all, a pretty good weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

APPLESEED CON


US Route 30, between Valparaiso and Fort Wayne

So, last weekend I drove out to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to attend the 2014 Appleseed Comic Con.  My buddies Jim Rugg, Ed Piskor, and Tom Scioli were attending, plus who were the Special Guests? None other than both PETE BAGGE and JIM STERANKO!  So I'm there.

The trip wasn't too bad, once I got out of Chicago.  I made it to Ft. Wayne early enough Friday afternoon to quickly hit all the comics shops in town.  I managed to pick up like ten 1970's Marvel Horror Comics that were on my list, and I was ridin' high.

Checked in to the hotel, and stayed up way too late talking about comics with Jim, Ed, and Tom, three hardcore comics enthusiasts.

Beautiful downtown Fort Wayne

Next day I got up early to set up for the show.  The Con was held in a gorgeous new Events Center, right in the heart of downtown.  Day One went well, met some cool people, including, for the first time-- Pete Bagge.  Then I lurked around the Steranko table a bit checking out all his cool old memorabilia (old Marvel black light posters from 1973 etc).  When I tried to take his picture he said "No Pictures!" and held up his hand.  The guy has class.

Managed to rustle up six or seven more comics I was looking for, and had lunch at the King Gyros next door.

Spit and a Half table, Northeast Indiana Stylee

Saturday crowds

The Great and Honorable Peter Bagge

Ed Piskor and his Hip Hop Family Tree

Jim Rugg and fan

Cool old Steranko Star Trek poster

That night we all went to dinner downtown and sat at a long table-- Steranko held court at one end, and Bagge at the other.  Two generations of Classic American Cartoonistes, wow.  Got out of there and went back to the room where we stayed up too late talking about comics again.

Fort Wayne Skyline


In Search of: BREAKFAST
"This is the idea we could have rolled with from the beginning!"

Downtown Post Office

Grand Wayne Center, home of the Appleseed Con

Tom and Jim share a knowing glance, Day Two

Jim with just some of his amazing and prodigious output
(I bought a copy of the Black-Lite Barbarianess poster!)

Tom never stopped working, all weekend-long

Day Two was slower than Day One, but that only meant I got to shoot the breeze with cartoonists more, and dig through more longboxes.  Afterwards, we all met up for a final calzone-fueled goodbye.  The Con Fatigue miraculously wore off, and I realized how much fun it was just hanging out with these guys.

Then, the road home...