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Petey & Pussy
     

Petey & Pussy

by John Kerschbaum
 

This graphic novel debut reads very much like a Looney Tunes cartoon—if all of the anthropomorphic animals were kvetching, balding, foul-mouthed misanthropes. A twisted combination of mundane realism and gross-out slapstick.Petey and Pussy, John Kerschbaum’s new graphic novel, reads very much like a Looney Tunes cartoon—if all of the anthropomorphic

Overview

This graphic novel debut reads very much like a Looney Tunes cartoon—if all of the anthropomorphic animals were kvetching, balding, foul-mouthed misanthropes. A twisted combination of mundane realism and gross-out slapstick.Petey and Pussy, John Kerschbaum’s new graphic novel, reads very much like a Looney Tunes cartoon—if all of the anthropomorphic animals were kvetching, balding, foul-mouthed misanthropes. Each character is articulate (and, in fact, can speak directly to humans, well enough to order a beer) but still recognizably have the traits associated with their respective species: Pete, the dog, is happy-go-lucky; Pussy, the cat, is self-centered; and Bernie, the bird, is high-strung and constantly a-twitter. Together, they are the pets of a sweet old lady whose obliviousness to the lunacy unfolding around her is second only to her own hygienic repugnance. The Sisyphean struggles of the characters is brought to the fore—the cat is compelled to try and catch the mouse, the bird struggles to escape his cage—as the trio engage in slapstick adventures that are simultaneously given an edge and made hilarious by a twisted combination of mundane realism and insouciant gross-out humor.
Kerschbaum cheerfully includes all the blood and guts that are left out of the cartoons, and lovingly renders his motley crew in a densely textured urban setting. And like the animated cartoons it echoes in an oddly surreal way, when the mayhem dies down, the characters come to the realization that their identities’ are defined by the way they relate to the others, and that one’s opponent might be one’s truest friend when both face a true threat.

Editorial Reviews

Marc Mason - Comics Waiting Room
“Petey and Pussy will leave an indelible burn on your brain whether you want it to or not. And surprisingly… you can’t help but be grateful for the everlasting impression.”
Carl Hays - Booklist
“Readers are advised to avoid eating while reading or risk choking during the inevitable and frequent guffaws.”
Richard Gehr - The Village Voice
“Kerschbaum has a slapstick star’s genius for both comic-strip pacing and comedy timing.”
Win Wiacek - Now Read This!
“Petey & Pussy is surreal, rude, crass, crude with studied obnoxiousness, and bitterly, bitingly funny in a perfect post-modern manner... an utterly captivating world of bawdy, grown-up laughs that only the most po-faced conservative could resist. Adult fun for slacker smart-asses of all ages guaranteed to make your beer spurt out of your nose so read carefully.”
Leroy Douresseaux - Comic Book Bin
“I’ve read some crazy comix, and while he won’t scare you under the sheets like S. Clay Wilson, [John] Kerschbaum can be as raw as R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, and [Johnny] Ryan, who may be his closest comix cousins... No fan of adult funny animal comics (like Fritz the Cat) will want to miss Petey & Pussy.”
Bob Fingerman
“One of my all-time favorites is a friend of mine named John Kerschbaum. Have you seen his book, Petey and Pussy? It's so good. Please get it. This is my big shout out/plug. Kerschbaum is the guy out there who can reduce me to tears when I'm reading his stuff because I'm laughing so hard, and that is rare. He is just so damn good.”
Rob Clough - The Comics Journal
“In a perfect and just world, John Kerschbaum would be one of its most famous cartoonists.”
Publishers Weekly

Although its protagonists are an anthropomorphic dog and cat with foul mouths and balding human heads, this graphic novel by magazine illustrator Kerschbaum somehow offers a rather realistic and very funny look at New York City residents. Petey (the dog) roams the streets when not popping through the pet door to visit his bespectacled buddy Pussy, who lives with an ancient crone who puts various objects and food items found around her apartment to questionable uses. Also sharing the apartment is a bird named Bernie who longs for nothing so much as the tender release of death, a state of non-being denied him by Pussy, who keeps him alive because he enjoys messing with him. Though they're animals, the cast could easily be just another trio of schlubs on the street; their world brings to mind the human/animal interaction found in animated cartoons, only with actual gore and recognizable profanity (no "razzin-frazzin" here). Filled with content that would send Walt Disney and other purveyors of funny animal cutesiness into a state of apoplexy, think of this as what your pets would be getting up to if they could talk and enjoyed hanging out in dive bars. (Dec.)A

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560979791
Publisher:
Fantagraphics Books
Publication date:
12/08/2008
Pages:
129
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

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Meet the Author

John Kerschbaum lives in Brooklyn, NY, and online at fontanellepress.com.

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