King-Cat: Comics & Stories No. 66 by John Porcellino. December 2005. $3. Order from King-Cat.net
A new King-Cat is always a comic I want to read right away, but instead I set it aside and wait for a quiet moment to read. After a first reading, I have to set it aside again and wait for the time for a second read. It’s too easy to flip through an issue and miss the beauty of the quiet stories and simple art.
I can’t say issue 66 is as great an issue as 65. The first half of the issue is a story called “Las Hojas” wherein John places football in the yard with some neighborhood kids. The story is missing some of the charm of many King-Cat stories, and the art seems even more stripped down than normal–too stripped down.
The issue picks up from there. “Blue Light” is a short poem comic, evocative in setting and the remembrance that comes with a fleeting sensory stimuli. In nine wide panels across three pages, Porcellino creates an almost haiku in comics.
“Freeman Kame” has John driving to a Kame, which in the back of the issue is defined as “a ridge or mound composed of sand and gravel, formed as a result of glacial melting.” He drives and then walks amongst trees. Nothing really happens, but the way Porcellino draws trees teeters on the edge of abstraction and representation. He uses a dotted-line to outline the reach of the leaves and simple lines to suggest branches.
(Sorry about how crappy the scans are.)