cover image From Lone Mountain

From Lone Mountain

John Porcellino. Drawn & Quarterly, $22.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-77046-295-3

Porcellino’s minicomic King-Cat, launched in 1989, is the most quietly vital of modern comics, evolving over the years from punk zine to minimalist meditation. This volume, which collects issues 62–68, mixes autobio strips, illustrated memories (“Barbers I Have Known”), confessions, Zen riddles, Top 40 lists, and letters from readers, many of whom have been following King-Cat long enough that for them reading this collection is like checking in with an old, wise friend. Big things happen in these issues—Porcellino gets married and moves from Colorado to San Francisco—but they mostly happen around the edges. Instead, Porcellino focuses on moments such as watching an anthill, talking to his wife on a long drive, or vividly remembering long-past evenings at home. Both art and text are pared to the bone, Porcellino’s sparse line work providing the perfect complement to simple, haiku-like captions: “Sunlight slips through cracks in the buildings/ you can’t take a single thing with you.” “Please Read Slowly,” asks one page, and each installment of King-Cat rewards a slowly savored read. (Mar.)

This review has been updated to reflect the book's rescheduled month of publication.