SOUTH BELOIT JOURNAL, $6, 6½” x 8”, 36 pgs.

Fans of John Porcellino’s long-running comics zine, King Cat, will enjoy this offshoot that Uncivilized Books put out this year. It’s a comics journal that covers Porcellino’s winter and spring of 2010-2011, a time when Porcellino had just gotten out of his second marriage and had very little loot. As it was, he found himself with a lack of joy but an abundance of 2” x 6” pieces of scrap paper from a recent project. So he used them to keep a visual diary with more or less daily entries. Nothing wild happens, but if you’ve ever been really fucking depressed you know there’s some solace to reading about how someone else has dealt with it, and the South Beloit Journal has that reassuring quality. And It ain’t all tears. Yes, there are lots of edifying and grim “I spent the day in bed” entries, but there’s some warm stuff, too. Porcellino is great at reminding his readers about the simple pleasure that can come from taking a winter walk, getting rad books from the library, or catching up with old friends on the phone. I’ve never read any of his work without feeling a bit more grateful afterward.  –Jim Joyce (king-cat.net)