Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Petey & Pussy - A Review

Jim’s on vacation so it’s a double dose of all things Lee this week. WAHOOOOO!!!! I can hear your cries of joy and glee as you read this. Anyway, since I have twice as much space as usual I thought I would review one of the books I recently read. Many months ago in one of the Indies Previews (This preview to be precise) I picked Petey & Pussy by John Kerschbaum, published by Fantagraphics Books. If you’re busy, let me summarize… IT’S obscenely GOOD FUN!

There are three stories in the book consisting of two short stories and one longer one. While all the stories are good, the first, and longest, is truly outstanding. Petey is a fat, and slightly stupid, dog. Pussy is a foul mouthed, obnoxious, and vindictive cat. The story opens as Pussy sees the apartment mouse has spelled ‘loser’ in kibble outside his mousehole. This sets Pussy off in a tirade of expletives. During the tirade, a ball of string appears in front of Pussy. While Pussy assures the mouse that the string will not f**king distract him, it does, and he ends up falling out the apartment window and losing his glasses. And so begins the adventure as Pussy’s pal Petey tries to help him get a replacement pair of glasses. This involves a trip to the senior citizens home (They don’t need them because they’re old). The pair also has pit stop at the local bar for a beer and martini (and trouble eating beer nuts without fingers). There are other more sordid adventures that you have to read for yourself.

There are two things that make this a great book: (1) the art and (2) the dialogue. For starters, Kerschbaum is a heck of an artist. The art, for all its simplicity, effectively conveys the crude aspects of the humor. The characters are fairly simple sketches but he imbues them with an incredible amount of energy and emotion. Even if it’s gross out moment it’s fun to read about. Graphically, Kerschbaum typically uses a three rows on each page. Mostly a nine panel grid but varies it with occasionally three or six panel page. But always three rows. This makes for a dense read that keeps your interest on every page.

Finally, the dialogue skates that fine line between crude humor and just plain crude. When Pussy starts an expletive laden rant you can’t help but laugh. When Petey makes comments to a female dog like “Y’know, I’m part Great Dane! And lucky for you, it’s just the part you need" or discussing “twat-wurst” you can't help but laugh. As for the context, uuummmm, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

In conclusion, this book is full of wonderfully crude humor. If you’re looking for something obnoxious and irreverent then this is a good book for you.

Visit P&P official site here and a 20 page pdf here PLEASE NOTE! This is unedited and raw. So if strong language offends don’t read it.

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