Graphic Novel Review: The Unpetables by Dennis Messner

The Unpetables by Dennis Messner. Top Shelf, 2023. 9781603095235. 88pp.

Pigmund Isadore Pigmund grew up in Uncle Milo’s All-Natural Petting Zoo, where he wrote his life story on paper plates. His best friend Liz├írdo Van Buren Van Halen (an iguana) was also born there. After getting really sick of all the petting, they escape using a train and some chickens. Kenny, Maintenance Man Kenny from the zoo pursues them. He continues to try to hunt them down as they seek their destiny as freelance pets.

I particularly loved the section of encounters with potential customers looking for pets — they’re all nightmares until suddenly Pigmund and Lizardo meet Chad. And that situation becomes its own weird nightmare, complete with a house containing comics, collectibles, and an insane hamster named Mr. Buttercups.

It’s all super silly, and Messner’s black and white drawings reminded me of some of my favorite comics from the 1980s – early 2000s.


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