At times in Root Hog or Die, the new documentary about his life to date, John Porcellino wanders down the streets of his old neighborhoods like he’s casing the houses. In a flannel jacket, raised hoodie, and ever-present Chicago Bears hat, he seems displaced but at peace with himself, a philosophical outsider sifting through his past. The off-handedness of these scenes and the film’s many interviews creates the impression that Root Hog or Die is almost a home movie, which it almost is, and this is a good thing. Disarmed, you forget this is a documentary, you forget the expectations of documentaries about an artist’s life, and you’re defenseless when Porcellino’s life unspools.
If you're in NYC please join me tonight for the What Nerve! book release party. I'll be talking to Peter Saul and screening Forcefield's video Tunnel Vision (2001). Peter, along with Leif Goldberg and Jim Drain will also be signing books. 6- 8 pm, tonight, October 21st at the Swiss Institute (18 Wooster St. at Canal). Film screening at 6:30 and talk at 6:45.
Dave Gibbons has been named the UK's first "comics laureate", which is nice. I was holding out for Mick McMahon, but you can't win 'em all.
McSweeney's has become a not-for-profit organization, which should lead to some interesting developments.
And finally, here's a nice look at new design aspects of Jim Rugg's Street Angel reissue.