By Adrian Kermode, Dave McKinnon & Terry Wiley
So, after talking up the great Terry Wiley, after looking over and loving his new comic VerityFair – where to go next? It would be lovely (Terry? Dave?) if copies of the Sleaze Castle books were available easily but sadly they’re not. Maybe soon? (Terry? Dave?).
But Petra Etcetera is available from POD store Lulu. Mine arrived a while ago and it’s every bit as I remember it being first time around, doing away with all of the brilliant sci-fi farce of Sleaze Castle and replacing them with plain old tales of mates, birthdays, pubs, illicit kisses, family and drunken nights out. Pretty much what Love & Rockets did but much, much funnier (although I’m sure Terry wouldn’t mind all that much if I said Jaime Hernandez is a better artist – after all, there’s few people on Earth better than Jaime).
Petra is the newly turned 19 year old sister of Jocasta Dribble, one of the leads in Sleaze Castle. And Petra’s everything big sis Jo isn’t – outgoing, flirty, gregarious, life and soul of the party etc etc. And in the three issues of Petra Etcetera we get to see her in all her outgoing best.
It all starts with a fairly typical (for Petra) night out to celebrate her 19th birthday. Petra wants a nice romantic night with boyfriend Henry, but poor Henry, although he may be useful in some ways, rather lacks a romantic bone in his body. Or as Petra explains it….
(Petra explains the attraction to Henry, whose reasoned, intelligent debate will take up most of Petra’s birthday, leaving her to get romantic with the leather clad hunk. From Petra Etcetera by Kermode, McKinnon and Wiley.)
Henry’s lack of attention leads to an illicit kiss with a mystery biker boy, which in turn leads to Petra wanting to put a little breathing room between her and Henry. As luck (or a convenient plot point) would have it, big sis Jo’s back to uni in the morning and Petra’s tagging along.
Cue more partying, more drinking, more unfortunate and inappropriate behaviour. And one very painful black eye.
(Petra’s always the one who gets the party started, even amongst big sis Jo’s very dull Uni friends. From Petra Etcetera by Kermode, McKinnon and Wiley.)
The antics of Petra amongst both her friends and Jocasta’s Uni mates are just out and out funny, and all drawn with style and cartooning flair by Wiley, who puts so much into everyone’s facial expressions and body language to make the book a wonderfully entertaining and downright funny experience.
One last bit of artwork to share with you before the end, a page that caught me in mid gulp of a cup of coffee and nearly killed me. I just love everything about this, from Jo’s face to the wonderful off panel reaction of a suddenly awake Petra. Perfect comedy timing….
Sadly, Adrian Kermode, the writer of the strips in Petra Etcetera died last year, at an all too young 45. (Obits and memories to be found here, here from Down The Tubes and here from Matt Brooker). But Adrian was a big part of the reason that Petra Etcetera is such a big pleasure and we should be grateful he shared it with us before he went.
Petra Etcetera is available to buy (and you should) from Lulu.