KING-CAT COMICS #74: $5 ppd., 5 ½” x 8 ½” copied, 30pgs.

Being decrepit isn’t always going to feel bad, not when it comes to John Porcellino and the dingy city of South Beloit where he once called home. Things were grim, depressing, and he was “living in the most depressing building,” “in the most depressing town,” and “bitter about…life in general.” Actually, there isn’t anything bitter about this zine. It takes a few darker turns but it goes back and forth nicely between his comics, journal entries, and one-sided convo letters sent in from readers. My favorite excerpt is one I can relate to with equal amounts of embarrassment. I so happened to stop shaving in the same month I decided to stop using deodorant and I had to learn to ignore the fact that I, too, “smell like teen skunk” all the time. And from time to time I’ll notice that “smell[ing] like springtime and roses,” I still don’t have deodorant within arms reach. Instead I turn to one of the greatest inventions modern civilization had ever provided me with: baby wipes. It’s the closest thing I’ll ever get to feeling like springtime, all the time. Reading King-Cat puts me in a good mood. The stories have their highs and lows that aren’t necessarily a rollercoaster ride of emotion, but I found pockets of powerful sentiment in every story. –Simon Sotelo (John Porcellino, PO Box 142, So.Beloit, IL 61080)