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The Suitcase h/c

The Suitcase h/c The Suitcase h/c

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Dan Berry


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Dan Berry draws the best cats ever!

Also the best dead bunnies. Here black cat Jerry stands proud yet insouciant over his latest conquest which he has just dragged through a hedge backwards and into Mark’s kitchen. Mark is on the phone to his missus:

“I think Jerry got next door’s rabbit…
“(Jerry! Get Inside!)
“Richard is going to go flipping mental.
“Poor thing must have died of fright. Jerry barely left a mark on her.

Hmm indeed…

Richard’s mental anyway – it’s his default setting. A huffing and puffing volcano of pot-bellied, middle-aged rage, Richard is the very last self-righteous, self-centred git you’d want as a neighbour. Snow-haired Helen, however, is a lovely, but she is in a bit of a quandary. Before Mark’s return from holiday, you see, she was tasked with looking after their black cat Jerry and aging canine Cruncher. And Cruncher’s just bitten the dust.

Helen dutifully rings Mark, and then the vets, but there is still the question of transport. Elderly Helen doesn’t drive. Thankfully Richard does and has just pulled up in his driveway, slamming the car door shut.

“Good morning, Richard!”
“Not really, if I’m honest, Helen.”
“I’m sorry to hear that… I’m not having a good day myself. You see – “
“LOOK, Helen.
“Whatever it is that you want, it can WAIT.
“I am in the middle of an EMERGENCY today.
“A FAMILY emergency.
“So you’ll forgive me if I don’t suddenly DROP everything an come running. <coff!> <coff!>”
“Well ok. I’m sorry.”
“Helen – WAIT!”
“Can you still do Wednesday afternoon?”
“Well, of course I can.”
“Good. Don’t be late this time.”

Which is nice.

So, what’s Helen to do? Cruncher isn’t a small, yappy-type dog. But, if curled up, he might just about fit in Helen’s big trolley-suitcase. It’s going to be bit of a job hauling it up onto the bus, but hopefully some kind sole will give her a helping hand. As long as they don’t ask what’s in it…

There are your component parts, then: a dead rabbit, a dead dog, a suitcase; an angry neighbour with a fixation on Top Gear, a put-upon Helen and a slightly dazed Mark. What more could possibly go wrong?

A prime suburban comedy in three acts, THE SUITCASE is exquisitely structured for maximum satisfaction and laugh-out-loud comedy.

Moreover, Dan Berry’s cartooning – the body language, baggy eyes, and explosions of crimson-faced, misanthropic anger – is delicious. Oh yes, the colours: russet leaves of early autumn still hugging the hedges and trees between crisp, white houses over warm, grey asphalt. I even fell in love with the chequered linoleum in Mark’s two-tone kitchen.

From the creator of HEY YOU! which we made Page 45 Comicbook Of The Month for May 2013.
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