In last month’s Walrus, US cartoonist John Porcellino riffed on his adventures north of the 49th, casting himself and his travelling companions as explorers into this untamed wilderness. It’s an autobiographical strip from one of the longtime greats of the autobio genre, and it’s a hoot. For this previously undocumented exploit, Porcellino has gone back to the mid-’90s period covered in his recently released King-Cat Classix, a fat and unfussily gorgeous book compiling the best of his seminal lo-fi mini-comic King-Cat Comics and Stories.
Since 1989, King-Cat has felt like an intimate venue where Porcellino shares the goings-on in his life with a close circle of friends, whether through his minimalist black and white line-drawings, his lists of things he’s enthusing over this month, or his typed or hand-written anecdotes and reveries. His most recent book, though, is Thoreau at Walden, a quiet and generously paced adaptation of Thoreau’s writings, a project that might seem a departure if it weren’t such a perfect match for Porcellino’s sensibilities, so attuned to King-Cat‘s cadences of everyday life. I probably mistakenly thought some of Thoreau‘s two-colour work and historical flavour may have carried over into his strip for the Walrus–I asked Porcellino to straighten me out about this and a few other things by email, and he was kind enough to supply the following responses. (more…)