Updated weakly.

John P. has a PATREON. / King-Cat 78 is OUT.

Thursday, May 16, 2019


Hey, it's been a long, hard winter and a nearly-as-long, hard spring. But I'm whackin' away at King-Cat 79, and still hoping to have it out in time for CAKE in a few weeks! Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't. I'm getting too old and tired to really worry about it anymore.

Might as well post about some upcoming stuff.

Foist of all, this weekend is Chicago Zine Fest. Tomorrow, Friday May 17 (which is also King-Cat's 30th Birthday!), I'll be participating in ZINE JEOPARDY at Cards Against Humanity Theatre, 1551 W. Homer St. in Bucktown, 9 PM.

Then Saturday May 18th is tabling from 11-6 at the Plumber's Union Hall, 1340 W Washington Blvd.

CAKE is June 1-2 this year, at the usual spot. If I manage it I'll have KC79 on hand. If not, it'll be out shortly thereafter, sometime in June.

Other stuff coming out in 2019 includes two standalone zines, The Collected Prairie Pothole, gathering all the stories (click here to read them online) for my short-lived :( weekly strip in the Chicago Reader (including three unpublished strips), and Christmas Stories, collecting three short holiday-themed comics, due out by the end of the year.

You can get all this and more delivered directly to your door by signing up for my Patreon at the $5/+ level ($6/+ International). Info here: www.patreon.com/johnporcellino

John P.

Monday, January 7, 2019


Another year in the bucket. Around here, things are cuspy. I mean, they're on the cusp of change. It's not always fun or exciting. It's that period when the old way has passed its time but the new way hasn't yet started. Limbo. Waiting, wondering.

In my case I'm talking about my future on this planet. As an artist, and as a person. The big news is I'm in the process of slowly backing away from the Spit and a Half distro.

When I restarted Spit and a Half, in 2009 or so, it was with the hope I could grow it into a part-time job... something to do a few days a week to bring in some extra income and lift the financial burden off trying to survive as an artist alone (which is tough, everybody knows). Then there was a point when things kept growing where I thought, "Wow. This is really filling a need in the comics community… this is a real business." It became a full-time job (but it didn't really pay like a full-time job). And then it became a six-and-a-half days a week job that paid like a full-time job. (Thank you!)

Now if you're working a six-and-a-half days a week job, packing comics in boxes, answering the endless parade of emails, texts, Facebook messages, Instagram messages, twitter messages, dealing with problems, headaches, setbacks, mistakes, first of all, one thing is clear -- you sure as hell aren't gonna be drawing your own comics. Second -- every tiny lapse compounds upon itself. Wait, you have a doctor's appointment? The pile of work grows higher. You have to take your dog to the vet? Higher. You're just so depressed and tired you can't get out of bed? Higher.

It was a case of bad timing. If only this had happened when I was 25... When I had a community around me (ie in the same town as me) to help out, hell, to hire... And when I had energy and nerve and youthful idealism. But I'm fifty years old now and I have none of those things.

So now I'm fucking up. Maybe not super bad, but the writing's on the wall. I'm hundreds of books behind on updating the website. I've got 1000 titles scattered throughout our house (and a storage unit!), spilling everywhere and messing with the Feng Shui. I'm misplacing people's books... which one of a dozen stacks of boxes are those twelve missing minicomics in? I DON'T KNOW.

Like Cometbus said, "I wish there was something I could quit." So I just kept getting deeper and deeper behind, and feeling worse and worse. And then I was listening to Joni Mitchell's Hejira album. I've listened to it many times and never wondered about the title. Turns out hejira is an Arabic word meaning "a journey, especially when undertaken to escape from a dangerous or undesirable situation." (Good ol' Merriam-Webster.) And it clicked. I need my hejira. My tactical retreat.

Like all of us I'm sure, I grow more and more alienated from the modern world with each new day. I'm broken down by the constant cycle of bad news, horror, stupidity, greed, anger. In the pre-Distro days, if I was overwhelmed like that, I'd be able to retreat for a while, hide for a bit, regroup. Draw, think, walk in the woods, heal. But with the Distro that's an impossibility. There's always another email, always another order. PLEASE don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly humbled by and grateful for the support the Distro has gotten from the community. It's an honor to serve you all! But the time has come for me to pass on this mantle to the next generation. It's just not a job one old dude can do on his own anymore.

As a survival instinct, I've started drawing more (from life), and playing music again... and in those acts I've begun to touch parts of my spirit that have been neglected for a long time. It feels like the start of a rebirth. I'm fifty, and I hate to talk about it, but men in my family don't live very long. Early sixties maybe. My Dad made it to 64 by a few weeks. I have a lot of work still to do in this life... personal work. Comics to draw, letters to write, birds to feed. So I'm beginning to break down the distro... culling old titles, returning books to publishers... in an effort to restore some balance. Knowing me, it will be a long slow process, but over the last few months I've begun taking the first steps.

More soon.

I love you all! Thank you,
John P.

PS: Thanks everyone for the well wishes I've received in response to this blogpost. To clarify, I'll (likely) continue to run the distro going forward, but it will be at a drastically reduced level, with a small, highly specific and rotating selection of books. Something that I really can take care of easily on a one or two day per week schedule.