Updated weakly.

John P. has a PATREON. / King-Cat 82 is OUT.

Friday, December 21, 2012


On December 15, Stephanie's beautiful dog Sherman (AKA Mr. Bowser) passed away at the age of 11 years, 4 months (very old age, for a shar-pei).

I met Bowser a year and a half ago.  He was kind of intimidating.  He wasn't particularly cuddly.  But after time he got to know me and allowed me to touch him, then pet him, then feed him some chicken.  That last part was the big turning point in our relationship!

He liked it when I'd take him for walks, he'd jump up and down while I got the leash ready, and he liked it when I cooked.  The first time I finger-fed him I was amazed at how gentle he really was, taking the food from my hands softly with his gums.

He liked to bark at me when I came in, and then once he saw it was me, his eyes would light up and his tail would wag like crazy.  Just a few months ago I was coming up the stairs and he let me rub him under his chin, his big droopy jowls, which were warm, soft, and dry.  He didn't mind.

When Stephanie was out, he would visit with me, and sleep on his office bed while I typed on the computer.

Everywhere you went, Bowser's breathing was somewhere in the background.  He liked to snort.  The last few weeks he snored a lot.  It's hard to get used to not hearing him there all the time, not having to say "Stay" when I go downstairs temporarily, to spare him the trip up and down-- because he'd follow us wherever we went.

Sherman "Mr. Bowser" Dorman
August 22, 2001 - December 15, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Hey all,

I've been meaning to update this blog for weeks now, but every time I think to do it, I find I have nothing to say.

Since returning from Brooklyn I've felt BOBB.*  I'm trying to get my shit together a little, find little ways to improve my life, but for some reason I've always found that a difficult thing to do.  For now, it means consolidating half-full boxes of books, putting them on shelves.  Going to the Post Office every other day instead of every day, staying off the internet (is such a thing possible???), trying to get the nerve to draw more.  We'll see how it goes.

I have lots of plans for the winter.  I have been talking about drawing this Hospital book for years, and now it's time to actually do it.  I wrote to St. Joseph's in Denver to get copies of my medical records, and I received like 380 pages or something.  It's weird to think all that stuff happened to me.  I was prodded, poked, tested, sliced, diced, and julienned to perfection.  No wonder I've never been the same.

I also want to get the new King-Cat out sooner than later.  A two issue per year schedule seems doable if I can stay focused.  I'd like that.

Meanwhile, the Christmas Cactus has a record 14 blooms!

Love you,
John P.

*Burned Out Beyond Belief--  I just made that up!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


So, Sunday, I had a reading to do at R. Sikoryak's CAROUSEL series, where cartoonists perform their works.  But before that Julia, Tom Kaczynski, Jon Lewis and Karen, Domatille, Julia Gfrörer and I all went to that one place we always go for breakfast.  I made damn sure to get a copy of the receipt!  Then we walked over to the amazing Desert Island shop and ogled the goods, and I went to do the performance.

At breakfast, Julia Gfrörer and Tom Kaczynski explain to Domatille who the Great American Philosopher Ayn Rand is.  Domatille is like "WHAT???"
(Photo by Julia Wertz)

Tom K. and John P. at Des I.
(Photo by Julia Wertz)

CAROUSEL was very cool, with readings by Nine Antico (France), Sikoryak, me, Dongery Collective (Norway), Fremok (Belgium), and Molly Colleen O'Connell (Baltimore).

Afterwards I was wandering the streets in a funk, taking pictures.  I was so busy feeling sorry for myself, I didn't even realize that that was Gabrielle Bell walking towards me (below)!

Gabrielle and Steve saved the day by taking me to the art supply store.

At the store I impulsively bought a tiny rubber Bald Eagle for my girlfriend.  I named him Obama, and kept him in the palm of my hand.  Stroking his back kind of calmed me down.

We walked together to the Soloway Gallery for the Blexbolex/Richard McGuire/Olivier Schwaren exhibit.  The gallery wasn't open yet, but who was that peering into the window longingly?  It was Blexbolex himself!

We took him for a walk through Brooklyn, over the BQE, down Metropolitan, and I showed him my eagle Obama, the symbol of our great nation.  We were standing at the stoplight on 4th Street, and when it turned green we started across--  but a loud little import was roaring down 4th Street right at us!  We jumped back in a panic and the car squealed and slid to a stop, smoke pouring from its tires.  I showed Blexbolex the eagle, and told him that the Spirit of American Exceptionalism had saved us.

At the Gallery:  Richard McGuire's Popeye and Olive drawings.


Olivier Schwauren.

More Blexbolex.

L-R: Dre Grigoropol, Patrick Porter look-a-like Peter Larsson, Blexbolex, Ben Catmull.

At the gallery I noticed that the rubber eagle had a small stamp underneath reading "CHINA," so I renamed him Romney.

I went back to Julia's to watch the Bears lose to the Texans, and lick my wounds.  I was beyond depressed.  I needed to come up with a better plan.

Got up the next morning and said Fuhgeddaboudit, I'm going home.

Fog on the bridge.

It started pouring buckets of rain in Western Pennsylvania.  I poured out my heart to Zak, and talked football with Porter.  The miles rolled by.

I feel like I defied the laws of physics in doing so, but I started the day in New York City and ended the day back in Chicago.

Sweet Home!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I have to admit, I was plenty burned out on traveling when I left for the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival last week.  I was in a financial sinkhole, and I was itching to draw again to find out whether I really was a hack, as I was beginning to suspect.

I headed out Thursday afternoon, and made it as far as Brady's Leap, Ohio, before settling in for the night.  In the morning a crescent moon greeted me.


Sunrise over Western Pennsylvania.

Whistling along to "Yours Is No Disgrace."

Got lost briefly on the New Jersey Turnpike and then made my approach to NYC via the Staten Island bridges.  Above: the Goethals Bridge.


God Bless America­­™.

I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Made it to Julia's place, where I had a stand-off with her baby squirrel, Jack.

Next morning went to the venue and set up, it felt good.  Above:  Spit and a Half table, BCGF 2012.

The crowd was insane all day.  At one point it was so hot and humid that the books on my table were curling.

Got to say hello to my hero, Matt Groening.  Aw Shucks.
(Photo by Robin McConnell)

Tom Spurgeon visits.
(Photo by Robin McConnell)

The festival was incredibly busy, with people at the table non-stop...  At 6 PM Box Brown covered me for five minutes so I could go pee and hurriedly buy the Michael McMillan release from Picturebox.

After the show, I was frantically running around trying to pick up books from people for the distro.  As I was walking downstairs, I noticed this dude...  "Is that...?" and on the way back up he looked at me like "Is that...?  It was.  It was Aaron Cometbus, and we made plans to go get tamales for dinner.

Aaron and I have only met in person a few times, but we were like old friends.  It was nice talking to a guy who knew the ups and downs of the zine life so intimately.  We had a good chat and rambled over to my car, where we said so long.

I got back to Julia's and this is what I had to put up with.

Jack sat down on the chair, and I sat down on the couch to add up the day's haul.  I was stunned to find I had only netted $140, and that was not subtracting the tolls.  A wave of dread washed over me.  I laid on the couch wondering where I went wrong in life, and then I fell asleep.

G'night Paul.

PS:  I want to be clear:  mentioning my low financial take shouldn't imply the show wasn't great -- it was!  There was a great turnout, strong programming, and steady sales all day long.  I'm chalking it up to a few things:  I usually schedule several revenue-generating stops when traveling to the east coast, to dilute the cost of getting there, and I didn't do that this time;  I traveled alone, so had no one to share gas costs with;  most of my sales are distro sales, which means I'm only taking home 40% of the revenue;  and I sell my own comics for $3.00.  C'est la guerre...