For almost five years, filmmaker Dan Stafford captured the story of John Porcellino, an indie comic book legend who made a name for himself with his self-published, semi-autobiographical series King-Cat Comics. On September 25th, the resulting documentary, Root Hog or Die, will screen at the Harris Theater as part of a tour celebrating Porcellino’s new graphic novel, The Hospital Suite.
For 25 years, Porcellino has been self publishing King-Cat Comics & Stories, a mostly black and white 32 page comic/zine. His collected stories have been published by Drawn and Quarterly, and his work has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Best American Comics, Kramer’s Ergot, the Anthologies of Graphic Fiction, and in countless other anthologies and collections. Born of the zine revolution of the late eighties/early nineties, today King-Cat is the template for cartoonists who seek to create work that is personal, well-crafted and free of outside influence. From following Porcellino around on tour and in the woods, to interviewing fellow cartoonists and zinesters, wives and girlfriends, and friends and bandmates, Root Hog or Die illustrates how Porcellino manages – and occasionally struggles – to live and function as an uncompromising artist in 21st century America.
A pre-screening reception and signing with Porcellino begins at 7 p.m. Root Hog or Die will begin at 8 p.m. followed by a Q&A. The event is co-presented by Copacetic Comics.