Everything trickles through King-Cat, whether it’s some rendered angle on the universe or Comics plural, and the letter page this issue, #74, speaks of its place in the continuum as a constant outpost, no matter how far you’ve moved along.
Still don’t know what the fuck, and it’s tiring. I’m tired of it. Maybe some day, huh?
Zak Sally – Minneapolis, Minn.
The brevity of Sally’s note is both humorous and endearing, and you read it as not some standard letter page line, asking bogus questions or submitting easy feedback, but as a postcard dropped off with the U.S. mail from some truck stop, just to tell your buddy about the road. The relationship’s apparent in the candid admittance; the language (‘still’) implies an ongoing dialogue, stretched.
And then Kevin Huizenga pops in, starting with “I chased a groundhog out of our neighbor’s garden the other day,” and the idea repeats itself, though this time the message reads like a treatment, almost, for a Porcellino short, possibly already in the works.
As noted over and over, all art carries a conversation, yet Porcellino’s registers with this particular companionship and invitation, and when coupled with the context of the series’ 25-year run – one concurrent with its founder’s life – the comic expands into more so a correspondence-memoir than another auto-bio bubble, and you’re involved, just by coming across these baffled zines whatever way you do.
With issue #74, it’s unclear how the conversation has progressed. The same mix of ups, downs, anxieties, assurances, questions and meditations populate Porcellino’s attention just as ever, and really, they’ll probably never recede, no matter if he does “wait” like ‘Wind Through the House’ may imply. But considering King-Cat‘s rate of release (roughly an issue per year), the subjects almost don’t need to change because the participants engaged with them do, will and have at the whim of aging.
Each installment has you recall the last time you read new King-Cat, forcing all sorts of recognition of what’s occurred in-between. For myself, that’s a dorm room, an afternoon in Greenwich Village and now, suddenly, the post-college void. Meanwhile, all the usual stresses / questions stick. Just like the comic. The future didn’t deliver everything.
“The passing of time is the saddest and eeriest thing in the world,” writes Porcellino in his opening address.
The sentiment nails a beat we all undoubtedly know, yet with the transition answers aren’t supplied. Like Sally wrote, “maybe one day?,” though it’s likely not.
Instead, we hold onto to our constants – our pains and astonishments. Making some sort of way. Just luckily, there’s an outpost to report back to.
A constant to know.
Alec Berry split the banana in half. Follow him on Twitter @Alec_Berry.