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Drawing parallels 

Cartoonist's personal evolution mirrors that of comic world

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John Porcellino is a cartoonist who creates mini-comics, though the techniques he uses to produce his virtual artwork have consistently remained unique to him.

"When most people think of comics, they think of newspaper comics or comic strips, but my work is different from that," the 38-year-old says. "It has changed over the years, but it's always been simple and understated; I typically write autobiographical material focused on day-to-day life."

His new book, King-Cat Classix, is a large collection of material from the first 50 issues of King-Cat Comics, and shows the shift and evolution of his work from 1989 to 1996.

Porcellino self-published his first issue of King-Cat Comics as a "zine," or a small-press independent magazine, as a punk rock-inspired 20-year-old in 1989.

"When I started out, I would come home and write about an experience from my day; it was very diary-like and spontaneous," he says. "I didn't edit or second-guess myself, which correlates a lot to punk rock."

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But during the early 1990s, Porcellino began to experience health problems, including hyperacusis, which is caused by prolonged exposure to loud music.

"I couldn't really go on living life the way I had been, so I had to find a more quiet space," he says. "This is when you start to see more reflective, meditative work."

The evolution of his work, now 67 issues deep, reflects an evolution in comics in general.

"There is a direction in comics over the past few years where comics are relying less on sarcasm or comedy," he says, "more of an honest expression of emotion, rather than one that's caged in an ironic stance."

Drawn and Quarterly presents: A Q&A, Slide Show and Signing with John Porcellino featuring King-Cat Classix

Colorado College's Tutt Library, 1021 N. Cascade Ave.

Thursday, April 26, 7 p.m.

Free; call 389-6607 for more.

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