463rd out of 1,496 books — 3,009 voters
by John Porcellino (Goodreads Author)
A melancholic memoir of saying goodbye to the familiar Road trips, drunken concerts, and late-night make-out sessions all swirl together in this coming-of-age graphic novel by King Cat cartoonist John Porcellino. Tackling the pain and uncertainty of the pivotal summer before college, Porcellino's sad and beautiful story is drawn in his sincere, minimalist style. Deceptivel...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 15th 2005 by Drawn and Quarterly
(first published 1999)
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John Porcellino—or at least Porcellino in the guise of Perfect Example's John P—is not the kind of person I really understand. He suffers under a cloud of depression that curdles even relationships he values. He hopes just like I do but as life rejects those dreams (since this is what life does), he is turned toward home countries where I find no citizenship. Small things set off a miasma of the psyche and drag his mood into the dimlands, into a world cloaked in malaise. John P is not the kind o...more
I bought Perfect Example after being thoroughly impressed by Porcellino's adapted excerpt from Thoreau's Walden in The Graphic Canon, Vol. 2: From "Kubla Khan" to the Bronte Sisters to The Picture of Dorian Gray. In the Graphic Canon, his minimalist art style was a lovely compliment to Thoreau's minimalistic philosophy. The art hinted at so much more left unsaid. Sadly, in Perfect Example, the minimalism just feels simplistic. A nice story with a nice message, but nothing beyond that. Who knows?...more
I found myself unable to connect with this story. Although I will be graduating highschool in a few days, I do not share the cringeworthy thoughts of the depressed main character. The summer after highschool is supposed to be fun, not awkward and depressing. I can understand why one may become depressed but I just can't relate. The story and illustrations are terrible. All in all, this story is very depressing and boring. Do not read if you are feeling down and bored, it will make you feel even...more
I'm not sure if I'm old enough yet to "revisit" my high school days - that awkwardness feels like it was just yesterday, still with me even. On the surface these stories are fairly simple and charming, but they deal with all too real issues such as depression, anxiety, and hopelessness and it's clear that the author has overcome some of his anxieties that he can now see are "foolish" but that he's still currently working out most of them. I like his drawing style a lot 2!
Well, what can I say. It's emo but what can you expect from a depressed high school kid? But seriously, things could've been worse for the kid. He could've had annoying parents and no friends. He really shouldn't have been that emo. But once again, it's a depressed high school kid living in the 80s we're talking about. It was still an enjoyable read.
JOHN PORCELLINO was born in Chicago, in 1968, and has been writing, drawing, and publishing minicomics, comics, and graphic novels for over twenty-five years. His celebrated self-published series King-Cat Comics , begun in 1989, has inspired a generation of cartoonists. Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man , a collection of King-Cat stories about Porcellino’s experiences as a pest control worker, won...moreMore about John Porcellino...