Once upon a time, a young man rescued a tiny white kitten from a tree. The next day, he was approached by another cat, who informed him that he had saved the princess of the cat society, and so smitten was she with his heroics, that she wanted to grant him a wish.  

But choosing a wish is not on Lee's priority list, so he ends up stuck with the ability to talk to cats until he does.

Lee's story isn't about cats.  He's seventeen, and all he should have to worry about is getting into a college where he can study biology. And maybe trying to not ruin the relationship he has with the only real friend he's got.  Frank has been his best friend since grade two, and things are changing between them.  Lee has to learn to be sensitive to the economic and social differences between them if he's going to save their relationship.

Prince of Cats is set in the year 2003, in a county situated on the Pennsylvania/New Jersey border of the Delaware River.  It's an area of economic diversity, where Lee, living comfortably in the upper middle class, attends school with everyone from the rich to the poor.  But it is not a racially diverse area, nor a progressive one, and the conservative climate makes life difficult for minorities like Frank.  A code of silence prevails for the sexually deviant, so when one of the boys is outed as gay to the rest of the school, life gets even more complicated.

Prince of Cats is a love story that spans a year of their high school drama.



This comic is written and illustrated by Kori M. Handwerker, with editing and website design assistance by Peter Selmayr.  Both Kori and Peter are graduates of the Maine College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Graphic Design respectively.  Additional critique and fact checking is provided by Herongale.

Kori can be reached at korimichele@gmail.com. 



How do you make it/what materials do you use?

Current chapter: Holbein Gouache and pencil on Arches Watercolor Paper.

Past: I use india ink and Holbein Gouache on Cartiera Magniani watercolor paper (but Chapter 00 was done in Copic markers, and Chapter o1, pages 1-67 are painted on bleed-proof pen paper, and had text placed using Photoshop CS2.) The comic is painted with only two colors: Burnt Sienna and Deep Ultramarine Blue.  The comic is sketched, then traced onto the final paper using a light table, and painted.  When I do full-color art, I always paint on Arches Watercolor Paper.  It's expensive, but worth it! (Pictures of my workspace here.) Ch. 2.3.2: black Pentel Procket Brush Pen for the inking and Holbein gouache for the color washes.

How long is the story going to be?  

Prince of cats is organized into four chapters of about 100-150 strips each.  At my current rate of posting five pages a week (not counting the side stories that only appear in the print versions,) it should take about two years to share the whole story.

Is this story a yaoi?

The short answer is no.  While the evolution of the definition of the word makes this a tricky question, and I do often advertise the comic on yaoi-based sites, this is a queer love story.  It is about a community of teenagers living outside of gender and sex expectations, and the experiences they have growing up and understanding their identities.  Having sex is a part of that process, and while there will be non-graphic sexual situations in this comic, this comic is not about gay sex. For more information, see Yaoi according to wikipedia.  

Will you be at a [X] convention?

Maine Comic Arts Festival May 18-19 Portland, ME Confirmed
Anime Boston May 24-26 Boston, MA Confirmed
Portcon Maine June 20-23 S. Portland, ME Confirmed
GaymerX (form. Gaymercon) Aug 3-4 San Francisco, CA Confirmed
Otakon (Dealer's Room) Aug 9-11 Baltimore, MD Confirmed
Small Press Expo Sept 14-15 Washington. DC Confirmed
Mass. Ind. Comics Expo Sept 28-29 Cambridge, MA Pending
Another Anime Con Oct 18-20 Manchester, NH Pending
AniMaine Nov 8-10 Portland, ME Pending

Potential Early 2014 conventions: Ohayocon (Columbus, OH,) Ahn-con (Kansas City, MO,) and Yaoicon (Los Angeles, CA.)

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send them to me at korimichele@gmail.com.