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John Porcellino: The Movie

Porcellino in action

Porcellino in action

Now here’s a comics-to-film project I didn’t see coming. Minicomics master John Porcellino of King-Cat fame has revealed he’s the subject of an upcoming documentary by filmmaker Daniel Stafford, owner of Denver’s Kilgore Used Books and Comics. The doc is tentatively titled Root Hog or Root Hog or Die: Ballad of the King Cat.

Stafford’s started a blog to chronicle the process and post clips. So far he’s interviewed such comics luminaries as Joe Chiappetra, Jeffrey Brown, Ivan Brunetti and Zak Sally for the project, and he’s looking for fan-shot footage and photos. King-Cat fans, that’s your chance to be a part of film history!

Straight for the art | My David Bowie Sketchbook, SPX & BKCGF ’09

Origin story time: Back when I worked at Wizard, I was introduced to the concept of a themed sketchbook by coworkers like Ben Morse and David Paggi, whose Nova and Lockjaw sketchbooks celebrated their favorite obscure superheroes through the generous contributions of comics artists. My problem? I don’t have a favorite obscure superhero. The only hero I really love is Batman, and the problem there is that I’m sure most superhero artists doing sketches at cons are sick of drawing him, while most alternative artists doing sketches at cons are sick of thinking about him. Who could I choose that would fit the bill?

Then it came to me: David Bowie. He’s my favorite musician, and it’s fair to say his outlook and approach to art literally changed my life. Plus, with all those alter egos and ch-ch-ch-changes, he’s like a superhero anyway, right? And thus, at MoCCA 2007, the David Bowie Sketchbook was born.

I’ve since collected sketches of Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, Aladdin Sane, the Goblin King, Major Tom, or whatever else you care to call the former David Jones from 80 artists and illustrators. Below are the latest batches, from this year’s Small Press Expo in September and Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival last weekend. How must the others see the faker?

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What Are You Reading?

Map of My Heart

Map of My Heart

Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading. Pull up a chair and sit down, won’t you? Our guest this week is Bill Kartalopoulos, who teaches classes about comics and illustration at Parsons, is a contributing editor for Print Magazine, and a comics reviewer for Publishers Weekly. But he’s probably best known as the Programming Coordinator for the SPX convention in Bethesda, MD.

Bill and everyone else has quite a number of books by their bedside table this week, so we’ll get right to it. Be a dear and click on the link below, won’t you?

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Talking Comics with Tim: Nate Powell

Swallow Me Whole

Swallow Me Whole

Nate Powell‘s Swallow Me Whole is a graphic novel that demands and warrants repeated readings. Released by Top Shelf last year, the publisher describes it as “a love story carried by rolling fog, terminal illness, hallucination, apophenia, insect armies, secrets held, unshakeable faith, and the search for a master pattern to make sense of one’s unraveling.” My thanks to Powell for this email interview and his level of candor.

Tim O’Shea: What motivated you to start self-publishing mini-comics at the age of 14?

Nate Powell: Well, I’d been drawing comics with a few friends for a couple of years already. We had many issues of a comic series mapped out, and a friend’s uncle suggested that we finish up each issue and self-publish it. We didn’t really know what that entailed, but soon discovered a few neglected copy machines around town and in my dad’s office. We made 100 copies of the first comic, and they all sold in about two months; we’d never anticipated recovering our expenses, or anyone actually BUYING the books, to be honest. We just wanted to have a comic too, and found the most accessible way to make them. At this time I was already into the punk subculture and had been exposed to people who made zines and released records in much the same manner, but it was not until a few years later when I started writing zines and putting out records that I saw the inherent connections between these two realms of DIY entrepreneurship.

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