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Petey and Pussey

by John Kerschbaum

Publisher: Fantagraphics

Format: Hardcover, 6x9, black and white, $19.99

ISBN: 978-1-56097-979-1

Reviewed by: 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.