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Root Hog or Die - The John Porcellino/King-Cat documentary's video poster
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John Porcellino has been self publishing King-Cat Comics & Stories for 25 years. A zine/minicomic legend, this is his story. Read more

Denver, CO Documentary
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This project was successfully funded on August 17, 2014.

John Porcellino has been self publishing King-Cat Comics & Stories for 25 years. A zine/minicomic legend, this is his story.

Denver, CO Documentary
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About this project

For twenty-five years, John Porcellino has been self publishing 'King-Cat Comics & Stories', a black & white (generally) 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.

As John describes it, he seeks to illustrate the 'moments-between-moments' that make up the majority of our lives. Looking at the snow falling. Watching a bird turn its head. Looking at the moon with your parents. 

John is an artist committed to punk rock & DIY ethics, and his uncompromising vision has made his a unique voice in the comics & zine community. 

John's voice, aesthetic, and moral compass have inspired me, as they have countless others. He's inspired me In the way my friend and I run Kilgore Books & Comics, in the way we pay royalties to people we publish and strive to treat people fairly, and in the way I find myself walking through the woods with my son pointing out groundhogs and birds. 

For nearly five years, I've been working on the John P. documentary, 'Root Hog or Die'. My goal has been to document a little more of his story for people like me who have been inspired by his work, and to get his work to others, who may normally pass by black and white mini-comics, or, never even come into contact with them. 

I toured with John in support of his book 'Map of My Heart', I walked through the woods with him and roamed around Denver chatting with him. I've interviewed over twenty of his friends, fellow cartoonists, bandmates, admirers, and confidantes. 

The material is all here, and I'm wrapping up the final edits and mastering this month. I'm editing down two versions of the film. The first is the 45 minute 'screener' which John will tour with this fall, going to 17 cities around the country. The second is the 'DVD cut' which will run 90-100 minutes. 

The DVD will also contain the extended interviews and a few fun outtakes on the DVD, as well as an 8-page John P. comic insert, and packaging done by John. 

When this Kickstarter is over, I'll be sending the masters off to a DVD plant who'll be producing the physical copy of the movie. Then, we'll be premiering the film at The Small Press Expo (SPX) in Bethesda, MD on the weekend of September 13/14, 2014. 

Right after SPX, John will be hitting the road to tour the movie alongside his first ever original graphic novel, 'The Hospital Suite', which deals with the life-threatening series of illnesses John suffered from in the late 90's. 

I hope to join him for some of these dates so that we could both participate in post-screening Q/As. 

So, what's the money for? Pretty simple. 

It's going to cost $2600 for final mastering and DVD production.

It's going to cost $1500 for shipping DVDs out to folks and shops who buy them. 

It's going to cost $400 to print up the posters & ship them out. 

And it's going to cost about $500 in fees to Amazon and Kickstarter

Any money above and beyond will fund my ability to go out on tour with John a bit this fall. So, let's do this, and send ole Dan to Rochester, NY! 

I'm sure you're wondering what's in it for you. In keeping with the spirit of the project, I'm trying to keep it all pretty simple.  

If you kick in $5, John and I will send you a 'thank you' postcard. 

For $15, I'll send you the DVD, once it's produced. I expect to have these in early September, but in the off chance there's a delay, or there are too many orders to fill quickly, I'm promising delivery by October (think later 1/3 of October). If you're thinking, 'Gosh Dan $15 seems cheap for a DVD', you're not crazy. I'd rather have more people SEE the thing. Really, it's a $12 DVD + $3 for shipping and shipping supplies.

For $35, you'll get the DVD + the 11x17 poster of the movie, signed and numbered by John. It'll look *something* like the image below. The poster is going to be offset printed, and at that size, you should be able to get a pretty cheap frame to make it look all nice and fancy in your house. 

For $50, you'll get 'thanked' in the credits at the end of the movie (both versions) + the DVD. 

For $100, you'll get the DVD, plus one of the 'covers' of a King-Cat comic. Jeffrey Brown, Noah Van Sciver, Sam Spina, and Zak Sally have all agreed to whip one of these up. Below, you can see Jeff's cover of K-C #58. Pretty incredible. 

Joel Orff's 'cover' of King-Cat Classix #4
Joel Orff's 'cover' of King-Cat Classix #4
Sam Spina's 'cover' of King-Cat #72
Sam Spina's 'cover' of King-Cat #72
Jeffrey Brown's 'cover' of King-Cat #58
Jeffrey Brown's 'cover' of King-Cat #58

For $125, you'll get the DVD + one of five drawings John's going to do of a still from the movie. I have a few pages of John's work, and they're really nice. 

I thank you for your time and I hope you'll consider joining this project. If you have any questions or concerns all, please ask. This is basically all I'm doing for the next month - well, that and caring for my 17-month old son Oscar. 

Whether you donate or not, I hope you'll consider making it to one of the screenings this fall, and get a chance to say hello. 

Confirmed John P tour dates w/screenings of Root Hog or Die: 

SEPTEMBER:

SAT-SUN 9/13-14: BETHESDA, MD, SPX*

TUES 9/16: TORONTO, ON, Beguiling @ Bloor Theatre* 

WEDS 9/17: MONTREAL, QC, Librairie D+Q*

TH-F 9/18-19: WRJ, VT, Center for Cartoon Studies*

SAT 9/20: PROV., RI, Ada Books @ Cable Car Cinema*

SUN 9/21: BROOKLYN Book Festival @ Spectacle Theatre*

T-W 9/23-24: ROCHESTER NY, Monroe Community College*

THURS 9/25 PITTSBURGH, PA, Copacetic @ Harris Theatre*

FRI 9/26: COLUMBUS OH, Billy Ireland Library, OSU*

SAT 9/27: CHICAGO, IL, Quimby’s*

 OCTOBER:

FRI 10/3: NASHVILLE, TN, Watkins College of Art and Design*

SUN 10/5: BLOOMINGTON, IN, Boxcar Books*

NOVEMBER:

SAT-SUN 11/15-16: SEATTLE, WA, Short Run Festival, Seattle @ Central Cinema*

MON 11/17: PORTLAND, OR, Reading Frenzy @ Hollywood Theatre*

WEDS 11/19 SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Cartoon Art Museum*

MON 11/24: LAWRENCE, KS: Wonder Fair*

TUES 11/25: ST. LOUIS, MO, Enamel Gallery*

This is a nice shot from an interview I did with John in S. Beloit, Il, 3/11/2010
This is a nice shot from an interview I did with John in S. Beloit, Il, 3/11/2010

Risks and challenges

There's very little risk. I have the footage, the editing is nearly complete, I have the music for the soundtrack, I have everything I need to put this together.

The only 'risk' is me just not finishing it, which I simply can't fathom at this point. I'm 100% confident I'll have a finished product in your hands in October.

You may not LIKE the movie, but that's a different conversation, I suppose.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    11 backers

    THANK YOU LEVEL:
    Get a thank you postcard from me and John. You'll feel like it's the 90's all over again when you get real mail!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    119 backers

    THE DVD:
    Get your hands on some real product. I'll send you the DVD, which will have the 'extended cut' of the movie, as well as all the bonus features like extended interviews.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    45 backers Limited (55 left of 100)

    DVD+POSTER:
    Get the DVD and the signed/numbered poster of the movie. The poster will be an offset print, 11x17, and perfect for a cheap frame.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    SIGNED COPY OF 'THE HOSPITAL SUITE' + DVD: Drawn and Quarterly has donated five copies of John's upcoming full length graphic novel, and John's gonna sign 'em for you + you get the DVD and a hi-five if we ever meet.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    24 backers

    THANK YOU CREDIT!
    At this level, I'll send you a copy of the DVD + you'll be able to point out your own name in the credits at the end of the movie!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    SAM SPINA SPECTACULAR:
    At this level, you get the DVD + an original page from Sam Spina of his 'cover' of a King-Cat cover. Sam will pick the issue (image to go up ASAP) and you'll get some classy original art.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    THE NOAH VAN SCIVER:
    At this level, you get the DVD + an original page from Noah of his 'cover' of a King-Cat cover. Noah will pick the issue (image to go up ASAP) and you'll get some classy original art.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    THE JEFFREY BROWN:
    At this level, you get the DVD + an original page from Jeffrey Brown of his 'cover' of King-Cat #58. Get some classy art!

    Estimated delivery:
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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    THE ZAK: At this levee, you'll get the DVD + an original page from Zak Sally of his 'cover' of a a King-Cat cover. One of the best working today, and a rare chance to own an original.

    Estimated delivery:
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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    THE HUIZENGA: At this level, you get the DVD + an original page from Kevin Huizenga of his 'cover' of a John P. drawing. Super classy!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    THE ZETTWOCH: At this level, you get the DVD + an original page from Dan Zettwoch of his 'cover' of a John P. drawing. Super classy!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    THE HARKHAM - At this level you get the DVD + a King-Cat 'cover' by the one and only Sammy Harham!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    THE ORFF - At this level, you get the DVD + an original page from Joel Orff of his 'cover' of King-Cat Classix #4. Dynamite!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    THE PORCELLINO:
    At this level you get the DVD + one of five 'stills' from the movie drawn by John P. himself. Get some truly incredible original art.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    FIVE MORE PORCELLINOS!
    Same as the others, John has agreed to do five more 'stills' from the documentary. Get 'em while you can!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (24 days)