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Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man Paperback – January 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: La Mano (January 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097652550X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976525509
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #798,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Porcellino's graphic novel about his last year in high school, Perfect Example (1999), will be reissued in style this fall by high-toned graphic-novel publisher Drawn & Quarterly. Expect much the same for this micropress effort about some of Porcellino's subsequent life. But don't wait. Porcellino's autobiographical comics rank with the best because of their unpretentiousness and candor. In a prose introduction, Porcellino says that he and his childhood pals thought the "mosquito men" they saw in suburban Illinois "got paid to do what we did for fun." At 20, he became one and for several years in Illinois and then Colorado hunted larvae, sprayed insecticide, and eventually changed his mind about the job. The 1- to 20-page pieces in Diary range formally from a list of "Inhuman Bastards of the Deep" (microfauna in a drop of water) to an essay on a typical workday ("Mountain Song") to conventional narratives. Porcellino's usual Matt Groening-simple drawing style becomes denser according to affect as much as subject (see the piece on spraying at night); it's always perfectly pitched. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

... in its modest way, this "Diary" becomes a meditation on memory and creation... -- Ed Park, The Village Voice, July 27 2005

Although "Diary" was written as a series of anecdotes...it adds up to something more. -- Joshua Glenn, The Boston Globe, July 24 2005

John Porcellino creates some of the most thoughtful, intelligent, sympathetic and yes, beautiful comix in America... -- Andrew Arnold, Time.com

More About the Author

John Porcellino was born in Chicago in 1968, and began drawing and writing at an early age, compiling his work into little hand-made booklets. His acclaimed self-published zine, King-Cat Comics and Stories, begun in 1989, has found a devoted worldwide audience, and is one of the most influential comics series of the past twenty years. In the words of cartoonist Chris Ware, "John Porcellino's comics distill, in just a few lines and words, the feeling of simply being alive."

For more information, please visit www.king-cat.net.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Esther on December 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you haven't gotten around to John Porcellino's monolithic King Cat Classix, Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man is a condensed version of his best work. It's a bizarre slice of midwestern American life: comics dealing with Porcellino's experience doing just what it sounds like ... pouring chemicals into swamps/waterholes containing mosquito larvae. It begins with his strange encounters with hitchhikers, in twister-torn country, Con Edison structures, getting attacked by wasps, and continues with why he gives up mosquito-abating. The evolution of Porcellino's artwork is also fascinating, starting with scrawled, almost crude, "punk" drawings and evolving to a gorgeous, minimal, clear-line style. Porcellino's landscapes are something to behold in their haikulike simplicity and beauty.

The comic is funny, but also touching, pensive and absolutely in love with nature. The writing evokes Hemingway and Kerouac, and I highly recommend this book and his other work to people interested in finding beauty in humble things, the blue-collar American experience, poetry, nature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Patel on December 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. It was a quick read (great for communtes) with humorous stories to which I related.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GAGOON on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Some of the finest and most considered autobiographical comics in an absurdly glutted field. Keep your eye on John Porcellino.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
John Porcellino, Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man (La Mano, 2005)

Over the past few years, Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man had become something of a graphic novel holy grail for me; library after library had listed it in their catalogs (presumably having it on order rather than in stock), and then had it mysteriously disappear. Finding a copy was downright impossible, and the book sat at the top of my list of stuff I wanted to read for over three years before Interlibrary Loan were finally able to track down what I'm starting to think is the only extant copy of the book in existence. (For the record, I extend my undying gratitude to the folks at the Salt Lake City Public Library.) I knew, somewhere in the back of my head, I was probably setting myself up for disaster; when you look forward to something for this absurd amount of time, the reality almost never matches the anticipation. And yet Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man almost did. Almost. I knew I was going to be in trouble when I read the preface, though, so I was prepared when I got to the last pages and Porcellino's conversion (not a spoiler, since, obviously, it's mentioned in the preface). Still, I found myself liking the earlier stuff better, despite it being far more primitive and crude (in every sense of the word) than the later work. But my problems with the later work are all philosophical, rather than with the work itself; don't let my reservation stop you from seeking this one out. ***
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