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QRD #56 - Indie Comic Creators Part III
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about this issue
Comic Creator Interviews with:
David Branstetter
David Paul
Gabriel Dunston
Gary T Becks
Jeremy Whitley
John Porcellino
Ken Eppstein
Nate McDonough
Brenda Hickey
Brian Payne
Suzanne Baumann
Chris Monday
Christiann MacAuley
Katherine Wirick
J.M. Hunter
Mark Oakley
Jason Dube
Zak Sally
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John Porcellino
John Porcellino
John Porcellino
John Porcellino
John Porcellino
John Porcellino
John Porcellino
John Porcellino
Indie Comic Creator Interview with John Porcellino
July 2012
John Porcellino
Name: John Porcellino
City: South Beloit, IL
Comics: King-Cat Comics & Stories
Websites: www.king-cat.net, www.johnporcellino.blogspot.com, www.spitandahalf.blogspot.com

QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?

John – As a kid I read the newspaper funnies & drew comics based more on monster movies, etc. than any real knowledge of comic books.  I only ever had a handful of comic books as a boy, mostly supernatural chillers, a handful of superhero comics.  For a year or two I made D&D type spoof comics that I photocopied & gave to my friends at school.  It wasn’t till I was in high school & had a friend who read Marvel comics that I started really getting into the comic book scene.  I read Marvel comics for 6 months or a year before I discovered Love & Rockets, Neat Stuff, Lloyd Llewellyn, Neil the Horse etc.  Around the same time I discovered the comic strips of Lynda Barry & Matt Groening, in the Chicago Reader, & those were the big two that made me start thinking about comics in a different way, & wanting to make my own comics again.

QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?

John – Chamber of Chills #15, March 1975, Marvel Comics.

QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?

John – I’m guessing eight years old or nine.  It was called “Invasion of the Incredible Blobs.”

QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?

John – All decades produced their standout works.

QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?

John – To me, for as long as I can remember I was drawing & writing, but I was also obsessed with the book form.  It was only natural that as time went on I tried to make my own books.  I continued on making little comics & booklets as I studied fine art.  Around my senior year in college I realized that self-published comics were the perfect medium for me -- they encompassed so many of my interests: writing, drawing, bookmaking, & being independent.  Since that realization I’ve never looked back.

QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?

John – God I hope not.  As to being their own unique media, to me, they’re just comics.  It’s all just comics.  I don’t divide things up that way.

QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?

John – King-Cat #1 was 18 copies, King-Cat #72 was 2000 copies.

QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?

John – Enough to make the creator a bit of money, but I believe comics should be affordable.  That’s one of the big reasons I chose comics over gallery art.

QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?

John – Nowadays I usually produce one zine a year & about one book form project a year.  I’d like to get it up to two zines a year, & a book too would be nice.  That seems doable.

QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?

John – Depends on the story & the artist’s goals.  One is not inherently better than the other.

QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?

John – Well, when you say comic strips you’re talking about newspaper type strips, four panels at a time or something, right?  Obviously that’s simply a different animal than a 32 page comic book, or a 200 page long form comics story.  I just prefer good comics.  I don’t care whether it’s a strip or a book.

QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?

John – For the zines, about 6 months, for the books anywhere from a year to two.

QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?

John – Make ‘em.

QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?

John – After stuff is drawn & I have to scan it in for the printer.

QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?

John – I don’t pay attention to that kind of stuff too much.  I have basically zero interest in reading a comic on a screen.

QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?

John – Color is great & has its place, but nothing beats a delicious black & white to me.

QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?

John – One person, & they should make the comic.

QRD – How do you find collaborators?

John – Unnecessary.

QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?

John – I don’t think anyone should tell an artist what to draw.

QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?

John – Charles Schulz.

QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?

John – My friends like ‘em.  Most of my friends were made through comics.  My family doesn’t read them.

QRD – What do you think of superheroes?

John – I like the classics.  I’m more of a Kirby fan than a superhero fan, though.

QRD – Marvel or DC?

John – Marvel by a long shot, unless you’re talking OMAC or Fourth World, etc.

QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?

John – The Great Lakes Avengers.

QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?

John – I do self-publish, & yes, it’s (nearly) ideal.

QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?

John – I go to the ones where there’s an independent spirit ? SPX, SPACE, Brooklyn, CAKE, MIX.  I have pretty much given up on attending mainstream comics shows.

QRD – What do you do to promote your books?

John – I travel around the country a lot, doing signings & appearances.  & I have several websites, post stuff on Facebook, etc.  Mostly I’ve just relied on word of mouth & tried to be patient.

QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?

John – It depends on the shop & the clientele.  My comics could be sold anywhere people are looking for good stuff to read.  I like that there are such things as comic shops & I’m a vocal defender of them.  But good comic shops are sadly becoming fewer & farther between.  So I also sell my work in regular bookstores, boutiques, galleries, record stores, radical bookshops, at conventions, & online.

QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?

John – Plush collectable dolls.

QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?

John – The only comics I ever obsessively “collected” were the Marvel Monster reprints from the 70’s  ? ”Where Monsters Dwell” et al. I like comics & I have a good collection of comics, but I’m not like a crazy collector.

QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?

John – I wish there was a great store, devoted to the entire spectrum of comics available, in every city & town.

QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?

John – Reading them.

QRD – Anything else?

John – Keep on Chooglin’.