KING-CAT COMICS AND STORIES #75: $5 ppd., 5½” x 8½”, copied, 48 pgs.

Sep 22, 2015

This marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of one of the longest-running comic series around. Dang! This issue chronicles the life of Maisie, a black cat who enters the author’s life at a turbulent time, just at the cusp of real adulthood. The pacing seems almost superficial at first, glossing over marriages and cross-country moves in a panel or two in favor of lengthy descriptions of Maisie’s quirks and caprices. As cat and human settle into life with each other, the depth of their relationship takes center stage. Maisie faithfully sees her human through health crises, family tragedies, breakups, and new loves. Porcellino’s illustration style is sparse and clean, and he pulls off simplicity like a pro (which I suppose he is). The comic goes the way all pet stories ultimately do; Porcellino’s clear voice making even those horribly familiar moments feel like something special and new. About a third of the way through the read, I stopped to yell at my idiot dog for knocking over a whole stack of shoes to get to her favorite slipper. By the end, I was holding her in my lap and telling her she was my princess. So that’s how I’ll measure what this comic has accomplished. A well-deserved tribute to a noble friend—I wish I could have met her. –Indiana Laub (John Porcellino, PO Box 142, South Beloit, IL61080)