Root Hog or Die: The John Porcellino Story, a 2014 documentary, draws to its conclusion with a scene in which Porcellino describes a conversation he once had with his father about cartooning. “My dad eventually realized I’m a cartoonist,” a middle-aged Porcellino explains, “but his thing was … why can’t you do Luann? Or…Garfield is funny, everyone loves it. You could do that! My dad would read King-Cat, and we would talk about it … he totally understood the whole [King-Cat] thing, but he would say ‘you could come up with your own Garfield,’ because he wanted me to not be suffering” (Stafford 2014). The scene is introduced by a silent title frame, white, smooth, sans serif text on black, using this phrase to preface Porcellino’s description of his father and his father’s perception of his cartooning, ensuring a narrative payoff and the sting of irony when Porcellino repeats the phrase “you could come up with your own Garfield!”
- Economic Capital
- Cultural Work
- Comic Book
- Mainstream Comic
- Late Capitalism
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Adorno, Theodor W., and Max Horkheimer. 1947. The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception. In Dialectic of Enlightenment, 120–167. New York: Verso.
Banks, Mark. 2007. The Politics of Cultural Work. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Banks, Mark, Rosalind Gill, and Stephanie Taylor, eds. 2014. Theorizing Cultural Work: Labour, Continuity and Change in the Cultural and Creative Industries. New York: Routledge.
Beaty, Bart. 2009. Autobiography as Authenticity. In A Comics Studies Reader, eds. Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester, 226–235. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Becker, Howard S. 1982. Art Worlds. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Berry, Dan. 2014. John Porcellino. Make It Then Tell Everybody. Podcast interview, August 21. Accessed February 11, 2015. http://makeitthentelleverybody.com/2014/08/john-porcellino/
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1996. The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Brienza, Casey, ed. 2013. Comics and Cultural Work, special series. Comics Forum (blog), December. Accessed February 11, 2015. http://comicsforum.org/comics-forum-archives/website-archive/comics-and-cultural-work
Brienza, Casey, and Paddy Johnston. 2014. Call for Papers: Cultures of Comics Work. CaseyBrienza.com , October 1. Accessed February 11, 2015. http://caseybrienza.com/culturesofcomicsworkcall.pdf
Brown, Jeffrey, and James Kochalka. 2005. Conversation #2. Marietta: Top Shelf.
Hatfield, Charles. 2005. Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Heer, Jeet, and Kent Worcester, eds. 2009. A Comics Studies Reader. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Hesmondhalgh, David, and Sarah Baker.2010. ‘A Very Complicated Version of Freedom’: Conditions and Experiences of Creative Labour in Three Cultural Industries. Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts. 38(1): 4–20.
———. 2011. Creative Labour: Media Work in Three Cultural Industries. New York: Routledge.
Johnston, Paddy. 2013. Comics and the Day Job: Cartooning and Work in Jeffrey Brown and James Kochalka’s Conversation #2. Comics Forum (blog), December 16. Accessed February 11, 2015. http://comicsforum.org/2013/12/17/comics-and-the-day-job-cartooning-and-work-in-jeffrey-brown-and-james-kochalkas-conversation-2-by-paddy-johnson/
McCloud, Scott.1993. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: HarperCollins.
Porcellino, John. 2005a. Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man. Chicago: La Mano.
———. 2005b. Perfect Example. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly.
———. 2007. King-Cat Classix. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly.
———. 2010. Map of My Heart. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly.
———. 2014. The Hospital Suite. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly.
———. 2015. King-Cat Comics. Accessed June 25, 2015. http://www.king-cat.net/
Porcellino, John, and Henry David Thoreau.2008. Thoreau at Walden. New York: Hyperion.
Robertson English, Austin. 2011. John Porcellino on Distribution, Self-Publishing and Diamond. Domino Books News (blog), April 13. Accessed February 11, 2015. http://dominobooksnews.com/2011/04/13/john-porcellino-on-distrodution-self-publishing-and-diamond/
Root Hog or Die: The John Porcellino Story. 2014. DVD. Directed by Dan Stafford. Denver: Kilgore Books & Comics.
Sabin, Roger. 1996. Comics, Comix & Graphic Novels. London: Phaidon.
Woo, Benjamin. 2013. Why is it so hard to think about comics as labour? Comics Forum (blog), December 9. Accessed February 11, 2015. http://comicsforum.org/2013/12/09/why-is-it-so-hard-to-think-about-comics-as-labour-by-benjamin-woo/
Editors and Affiliations
© 2016 The Author(s)
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Johnston, P. (2016). Under the Radar: John Porcellino’s King-Cat Comics and Self-Publishing as Cultural Work. In: Brienza, C., Johnston, P. (eds) Cultures of Comics Work. Palgrave Studies in Comics and Graphic Novels. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-55090-3_10
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, New York
Print ISBN: 978-1-137-55477-2
Online ISBN: 978-1-137-55090-3
eBook Packages: Literature, Cultural and Media StudiesLiterature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)