Monday, October 22, 2012

King-Cat Comics

The world of self-published comics and zines is stronger then ever because of the internet. It's never been easier to create your own comic and distribute it. Way back in the 1980s and 1990s when I was doing "Reluctant Sadist", everything was done through the mail. A zine artist would connect with their readers by sending out review copies to pubs like "Fact Sheet Five" and "Small Press Comix Explosion". Now you can draw a comic streaming live or collaborate with other artists all over the world. There are no boundaries.  I got to admit though that I like reading comics the old-fashioned way in a hard copy format. I like the artifact and intimacy of "reading it real". Somehow reading it on a screen makes it too easy to forget, gives the words and images less meaning. I use the net to find new comics and when I do, I send off my dough and eagerly await getting some "good mail".

I don't recall when or how I found John Porcellino's zine, "King-Cat Comics", but I've been following his blog, "Maybe Blogging Will Help" for a few months and decided it was time to get my hands on some King-Cat. The photo above is my "de-enveloping" of issues #65 and #71. John also included a hand-written note and doodle which was a nice touch. When I read comics, I prefer to read auto-biographical stuff and King-Cat fits that. The stories and art are minimal, but personal. There's a zen quality to the stories that often focus on simple experiences that could easily be overlooked in this busy world. I like being reminded of the simple things. Here's my favorite panel from issue #65 called "Places".

I relate to that idea. Sometimes I see myself in some second floor apartment above an old store front in some small, quiet town reading a thrift store copy of "The Dharma Bums" while lying on a hand-me-down couch. If you dream of simple things, then check out King-Cat Comics.


Monday, October 8, 2012

"Dry with the Threadbare Towel" - Issue Seven

Many shit words
hangover filled mornings
grabbing at the alarm clock 
shower with the empty shampoo bottle
wash with the thin soap
dry with the threadbare towel
no breakfast
rice lunch
home to empty kitchen
cut off notices
more beer
more beer
can’t find a pair of clean socks
always had clean socks at home
What happened to meat and vegetables??

-Michael Wingfield

That piece comes from one of my favorite RS stories that was in issue number seven and is called, "Dry with the Threadbare Towel". It was born from a writing collaboration with my friend Michael Wingfield. Back when we were young bucks, we'd often spend nights hanging out in bars playing a writing game we called "Poetry Tag". Basically, we'd throw out some random phrases and both spend a few minutes writing something around it. We'd stop, read out loud what we had written, swap notebooks and try another phrase. Needless to say, a lot of bad crap was scrawled, but now and again, some gems would break through the chaff. "Threadbare Towel" was edited from one particular round. This bit, the combination of Mike's words and this drawing I did of him, is my favorite panel in the story.