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September 11, 2009

Book Notes - John Kerschbaum ("Petey & Pussy")

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Fantagraphics describes John Kerschbaum's graphic novel Petey & Pussey as "Looney Tunes meets Luis Bunuel," and I have to agree. This lauded graphic novel (which appeared on many "best of" year-end lists and was nominated for an Eisner) combines the slapstick of classic comics with a post-modern edge.

Many thanks to John Kerschbaum for adding original illustrations to his playlist (a Book Notes first).

Grovel wrote of the book:

"Despite the apparent contempt that Kerschbaum appears to have for man and beast, Petey and Pussy is a compulsive, entertaining read. Secretly he must care deeply about these characters, and we suspect that you will too. They’re finely crafted and well fleshed out, lifting it way beyond the limits you could be forgiven for assuming a talking animal story might be restrained by. Horribly wonderful stuff."

In his own words (and comics), here is John Kerschbaum's Book Notes music playlist for his graphic novel, Petey & Pussy:

I have a very difficult time writing with music playing. I really need peace and quiet in order to concentrate and fall into a "writing groove." But when the writing is done and the drawing begins, the music comes on. In fact, I find music helps the drawing process as much as it hinders the writing. (I'm not sure why that is!)

Anyway, since getting an iPod, I usually just set it to randomly play songs from my music library which means a heavy rotation of Camper Van Beethoven/Cracker, Pavement/Stephen Malkmus, Elvis Costello, Yo La Tengo, The Clash/Joe Strummer, Nick Lowe, REM, Ryan Adams and Wilco mixed in with a bunch of other stuff. In order to give you a quick glimpse into that "other stuff," I've created a ten-song playlist for each of the three main characters in my latest graphic novel, Petey & Pussy. The characters themselves, chime in with some occasionally pertinent observations.


Bitch - The Rolling Stones
Bad to the Bone - George Thorogood


Jealous Dogs - The Pretenders
Marie Provost - Nick Lowe


Bulldog Skin - Guided By Voices
Backdoor Man - The Doors


Diamond Dogs - David Bowie
Tallahassee Lassie - The Flamin' Groovies


The Underdog - Spoon
Sunday Papers - Joe Jackson



Cool for Cats - Squeeze


Moonshadow - Cat Stevens
Pads Paws and Claws - Elvis Costello


Cat People - David Bowie
Rats- Sonic Youth
The Love Cats - The Cure


The Catman - Robert Gordon
Go Cat Go! - Carl Perkins


We the Cats Shall Hep Ya - Joe Jackson
Leave My Kitten Alone - Elvis Costello



Pretty Bird - Jenny Lewis
Learn to Fly - Foo Fighters
You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly! - Disney's Greatest, Vol. 1
You Ain't Going Nowhere - Bob Dylan
Battered Old Bird - Elvis Costello
Agony - Eels
Suffering - Frank Black
Slow Death - Flamin' Groovies
Die Die Die - The Avett Brothers
I'll Fly Away - O Brother Soundtrack


John Kerschbaum and Petey & Pussy links:

the author's website
video trailer for the book
excerpts from the book

Comic Book Bin review
Eye on Comics review
Grovel review
High-Low review
Now Read This! review
Publishers Weekly review
Village Voice review

Comic Book Resources interview with the author
The Comics Reporter interview with the author
The Ink Panthers Show! interview with the author
Robot 6 interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

other Book Notes submissions (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
52 Books, 52 Weeks