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Arnold, S.R. – Perry Midlife


Perry Midlife

You know what it’s apparently impossible to find online? Information on a dude who uses initials instead of a first name. Or I’m a moron when it comes to searching, but you’d think I’ve had enough practice by now. I also find myself oddly speechless when it comes to his comic, but that’s never stopped me before, am I right? Also it’s speechless in a good way; there’s some brilliance in here that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Describing this like a linear story also won’t do you much good, and it’s best that I just fess up and admit that the sample image isn’t close to the best representation of the style of the comic, it’s just an image that I couldn’t resist. Aw, screw it, I’ll go that route and run through some of the happenings. Things start off with our hero trying to hear the television as his spectacularly goofy dogs first try to eat the mail lady through the mail slot and then rummage through everything they see on the street during a walk. Next up he has to go see the doctor to get his regular medication refilled, which turns into a whole thing that ends up with a whole lot of ball squeezing. Should I mention that the doctor bears some resemblance to a perverted muppet? Nah, I probably shouldn’t. From there he can’t get away fast enough from a dude in the parking lot with an open head wound who’s looking for a ride, so they go on an adventure (?) together while having a long talk about the world, philosophy and everything in between, to the point where our hero seems to be warming up to the guy a bit. Then there’s a beautifully illustrated bit about the real life nature horror show that is the cowbird. That’s roughly the first half of the book, relayed in the simplest of terms by me, leaving you unaware of all the nuance and all the detail that this dude (I’m guessing the artist is a dude? If not, my apologies) puts into every panel. He ties it all together pathetically and beautifully in the end, but you’ll have to figure out that part for yourself. S.R.’s art has some hints of Dan Clowes, with maybe some Ivan Brunetti mixed in (possibly a bit of Peter Bagge in the action parts?), but in the end he’s clearly his own artist. I think I’ve reviewed every book from Heel on the Press so far, and they’re all distinctly their own weird, wonderful thing. And they’re also all damned near big enough to be graphic novels, in case you’re worried about spending money on the unknown. In that case I don’t know why you’re here, because I recommend that people do that shit all the time, but this would be a good one to go into blind. $12