Episode 075: John Porcellino
I’d spoken with John Porcellino not all that long ago for Publishers Weekly feature discussing The Hospital Suite, the indie cartoonist longest self-contained work to date. Published by Drawn & Quarterly, the book is deeply personal, exploring long standing health concerns that caused Porcellino to be hospitalized numerous times over the years. Toward the end of that conversation, I asked the artist whether he’d be willing to meet up again for yet another interview when his book tour brought him to New York City. He’d only be in town for a couple of days for the Brooklyn Book Festival and would only have a couple of hours to spare, but he happily agreed to devote one of them to sitting down with me in front of a microphone yet again. Porcellino greeted me in the lobby of his Brooklyn hotel a few weeks later in a white t-shirt bearing the visage of celebrity cat, Lil Bub. He recognized me before I recognized him. He looked different than the last time we’d met, when I’d interviewed him on-stage at the Minneapolis Indie Expo a few years prior. Back then, he’d been in the throes of the health concerns at the center of his new book. “I’ve put on a little weight,” he said proudly. “I just turned 46, after all.” He didn’t look overweight, he just looked, well, healthy. He offered me an English muffin and apologized for tucking into the hotel breakfast that had only just arrived. He was making the most of his limited time as I set up the recorder. After five ten minutes of discussing the relative niceness of various hardcore frontmen (Ian MacKaye, Kevin Seconds and Keith Morris all get gold stars), any concerns I harbored about our ability to fill yet another hour’s worth of SD card with conversation melted away. For episode 75, here’s a wide ranging one with one of the most fascinating and longest lasting figures in the world of self-published comics. Punk rock, buddhism, nature, health and art all abound.