Peter Bagge - Classic Or Dud

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He was one of the 'big guns' of alt.comix in the 90s -

a) what is he doing now?

b) is his rep still strong?


c) I don't see him mentioned that much and I wondered whether his dedication to doing humour comics* rather than weird or autobio stuff** left him 'out of step' with the rest of the indie comix world.

*obviously there's lots more to his stuff than humour.
**obviously there's plenty of these comics that are v.funny

Tom (Groke), Monday, 11 October 2004 18:02 (sixteen years ago) link

He's got a book coming out in January from Dark Horse Comics:


Written and art by Peter Bagge.

Imagine yourself in a post-apocalyptic world, where all the creature comforts that you've spent an entire lifetime taking for granted were suddenly gone for good. How do you see yourself reacting to such a situation? Would you "suck it up" and be stoically content? Or would you spend most of the time cursing your fate? We all like to picture ourselves as the former, though the latter is probably a more accurate portrayal - and that's exactly what our "hero" is like in Peter Bagge's new mini-series.

Marvel as our protagonist, an asthma ridden, myopic former middle manager for a software company, has his limited survival skills continually put to the test, only to continually come up short! Thrill as his dumb childhood friend Jeff Beasley bullies him around, as he abuses his new found status as the undisputed alpha-male of the two! Cringe as what's left of human civilization continually deteriorates around them, and they along with it.

Each issue will also feature a back of story detailing poignant yet humorous anecdotes about America's Founding Fathers. Finally, George Washington and his gang will be starring in comics of their own!

David R. (popshots75`), Monday, 11 October 2004 18:08 (sixteen years ago) link

Hang on, I am badly asthmatic, very short sighted after the recent eye operations, and I am a senior systems analyst! I have met Bagge too! Then again, I wasn't either of the latter two things then, and I don't imagine my being asthmatic came into our conversation, so I don't imagine it is based on me.

I loved all the Hate and Buddy Bradley stuff, the wilder and less realistic the better. His more recent stuff didn't appeal greatly, to be honest. I expect I'll give this a try.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 11 October 2004 18:27 (sixteen years ago) link

Did he actually write a Spiderman comic, or did I make that up?

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 11 October 2004 19:11 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, Pete Bagge wrote and drew a Marvel published (and sanctioned) one-shot called The Megalomaniacal Spider-Man. It's actually quite funny; lots of you-wear-spandex-so-you-must-be-gay jokes.

ng, Monday, 11 October 2004 19:27 (sixteen years ago) link

He also did Yeah!, a DC comic that I think was coming out at roughly the same time as Young Heroes In Love (I may only be thinking this because they would be shelved in the same place, of course; but I think I saw Yeah! when picking up YHIL) -- it didn't last long, but it was fun while it did, sort of like Josie and the Pussycats if J&tP was actually as good as you remembered and not just a handful of unlikely events strung together by pratfalls.

Tep (ktepi), Monday, 11 October 2004 19:28 (sixteen years ago) link

only know Hate and the Buddy Bradley stuff that preceded. On of the first things outside mainstream comics I got into. (I had an ex that drew strips/did comics and he got me into stuff outside superhero comics which was my background, i.e. Bagge & Clowes and others)

Hate etc. was brilliant. Clasic. Don't know his other stuff but for Hte alone gets a massive pass.

H (Heruy), Monday, 11 October 2004 19:37 (sixteen years ago) link


"i scream, you scream, we all scream for heroin"

bulbs (bulbs), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 00:20 (sixteen years ago) link

Hate was brilliant.

Studs Kirby was brilliant.

that Beach Boys cartoon he did on the net was great.

the Megalomaniacal Spiderman was brilliant (I only wish the Hulk one he was working on had been released).

So : Classic.

David N (David N.), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 01:06 (sixteen years ago) link

super-classic. obvs the Buddy Bradley saga is his best work (well, up until HATE #30, the recent strips with him as husband and father have been too short to actually get into exploring the character or making any decent jokes), but loads of other NEAT STUFF was gold, esp. Studs Kirby. And MARTINI BATON puts the recent school of profane and filthy comics to shame.

his recent work is curiously up-and-down though. the Spider-Man book was pure classic, and one presumes THE INCORRIGIBLE HULK will also be, should another regime change at marvel allow it to be released. The Lovey strips in HATE ANNUAL are good, so to a degree are the prose reprints, but the Suck stuff was awfully reformatted and see above for Buddy comments.

YEAH! was a really good comic for nine-year-old girls, only of course no nine-year-old girls go into comic shops to spend seven bucks on a tiny little pamphlet. SWEATSHOP, his follow-up from DC (a satire on the comics business, particularly daily strips) started off painfully cliched and mapped onto a template of Bagge story beats without actually having much story. but as the series went on, the characters became richer and the comedy better. of course it was really hitting its stride when it was cancelled. I liked the mix of artists working from Bagge model sheets, too.

his strips for REASON vary wildly from lame old-man-grumbling to incisive and funny commentary. the last one I saw, about the fraudulence of modern art, actually managed to blend the two to gigglesome and non-grating effect.

Action Suits: S the My Janeane/4-Track Mind 7" on Fluffer, it's their two best songs conveniently packaged together!

kit brash (kit brash), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 02:29 (sixteen years ago) link

there have been some Hate "annuals" over the last few years. with really badly edited long essays, usually about how The Spice Girls were great.

Jaunty Alan (Alan), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 09:09 (sixteen years ago) link

He has a pretty funny essay, also mainly about the Spice Girls, in the great book "Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth."

n/a (Nick A.), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 13:28 (sixteen years ago) link

there have been some Hate "annuals" over the last few years.

I found the one I bought fairly lame. I don't buy Hate annuals to read four pages of Hate comic and then loads of non-comic waffle about what Bagge thinks about stuff. He should start a blog.

loggedoutvicar, Tuesday, 12 October 2004 16:13 (sixteen years ago) link

he could call it "i: hate comics"

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 12 October 2004 16:39 (sixteen years ago) link

he did a great, huge zine in 1993 called "I Love Comics!"!

kit brash (kit brash), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 00:50 (sixteen years ago) link

also edited Weirdo!

bulbs (bulbs), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 02:34 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I just re-read the Jersey issues of Hate and they might be my favorite comic ever right at the moment. I really wish the Annuals were more Buddy & Co. and less Bat Boy or whatever. Or more Bunny and Chet or more of the girl with red hair whose name I can't recall. Apocalypse Nerd is totally great too, but I think the short pieces on historical figures are even better.

Anyway completely classic.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 21 July 2006 19:45 (fourteen years ago) link

When he was classic he was classic, and he had a good long run. This year's Hate annual was pretty awful, though, even the Buddy stuff.

M. V. (M.V.), Friday, 21 July 2006 19:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Haha I thought the "return" of Stinky was hysterical. I have a certain fondness for Jake "The Snake" and Jimmy Foley though.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Friday, 21 July 2006 20:05 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm buying this
for my kid. Not for me. For my kid.

M. V. (M.V.), Friday, 21 July 2006 22:40 (fourteen years ago) link

I own "Buddy Does Seattle" (great, despite Everett True's hectoring foreword) and "Studs Kirby" (good, though more dated.) "Buddy Does Seattle" advertises itself as "Vol.1 (1990-1994)", anyone know if the anthologizing has gone further yet?

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Saturday, 22 July 2006 16:32 (fourteen years ago) link

He's my friend on MySpace. CLASSIC.

Geoffrey Litwack (litwack), Saturday, 22 July 2006 17:10 (fourteen years ago) link

All thirty issues of Hate were originally collected in six volumes before they put out the smaller format Buddy Does Seattle, which contains the first fifteen. I guess they'll make a 'Vol. 2' at some point but until then the earlier collections are still available.

robert in SLC (robert in SLC), Sunday, 23 July 2006 00:11 (fourteen years ago) link

The Buddy Does Jersey collection is going to be in black and white sadly. In the meantime, Daniel should definitely get the Bradleys collection, with the 1980s adventures of Buddy, Butch, Babs, Tom, Stinky, Jay & alias.

kit brash (kit brash), Sunday, 23 July 2006 00:25 (fourteen years ago) link

thirteen years pass...

man the original Hate run is still so funny. A little shocking how un-PC it is, which registered with me at the time (Buddy's casual n-bombs + homophobic slurs etc), but also interesting in that Bagge seems to have been very aware of what he was doing - other characters push back against Buddy on these things, and more often than not it's clear he's being an asshole. Also charming to see how hard he went in on promoting other cartoonists and zines, truly admirable. the gross-out sex shit ppl would send him in the letters column erm less so.

Also recently got Everybody's Stupid Except for Me Out of the Library and while I rarely agreed with him, this previous ilxor post:

I find his narratorial voice almost always likeable and his viewpoints well reasoned and funny, even when I don't agree with them

is very otm

Οὖτις, Thursday, 5 March 2020 23:28 (ten months ago) link

i reread all of it recently and yeah it's still great. one thing i'd forgotten was just how elaborate with dense cross-hatching the art was in the early issues.

visiting, Friday, 6 March 2020 01:47 (ten months ago) link

Yeah its crazy detailed

Οὖτις, Friday, 6 March 2020 01:49 (ten months ago) link

amazed to notice that an early issue of HATE includes a Patrick McDonnell (of MUTTS fame) drawing of Buddy Bradley in the "news"/letters page

The difference between the Seattle and New Jersey runs is very striking - the art becomes much more simplified and standardized, and the writing follows a much more plot-driven sorta structure. Characters no longer digress on various subjects, everything is very much about getting the story from point A to point B, and naturally the focus shifts from shenanigans of 20-something slackers to the family dynamics stuff. Still funny but it seems part of a tidal shift in the way he worked.

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 16:20 (ten months ago) link

i like the NJ phase just as much, and I actually think bringing blanchard on to ink was a boon. I wasn't into the crosshatching proliferation period of his self-inking

really wanna reread the whole thing soon

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 10 March 2020 17:35 (ten months ago) link

Lisa's evolution is probably the best thing about the whole run tbh

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 17:39 (ten months ago) link

always feel like bagge missed his chance at simpsons-esque success with 'the bradleys' -- his hate animated test was really awful, though.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 17:43 (ten months ago) link

there's no way that would've worked on TV at the time - you need all the swearing and grotesque/obscene behavior

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 17:47 (ten months ago) link

floppy spaghetti arms could be proxy for cursing.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 10 March 2020 18:11 (ten months ago) link

the ads in the Jersey issues are a real flashback. I mean, this lamentably named band (who I don't remember at all/have never heard of) placed ads in four consecutive issues:

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 17:58 (ten months ago) link

which numbers? if it was early on, they might have been offered a great deal when Fanta had no faith in being able to sell ads at all (having adverts was Bagge's idea, that he had to really push for)

or they could have just been big fans obv

Fantastic. Great move. Well done (sic), Wednesday, 11 March 2020 19:05 (ten months ago) link

20, 21, and 22. the ads are truly embarrassing though ("13 pop punk songs to help you get over her").

tbf there's also an acquaintance band's ad in one of those (papas fritas) so it wasn't all no-name pop-punk garbage.

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 19:13 (ten months ago) link

I wldn't say that P Bagge's musical choices/opinions are 100% unimpeachable (speaking as someone who owns this):

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 20:30 (ten months ago) link

I doubt he personally gaf about Her Fault, doesnt seem like his kind of thing and there was no personal connection afaict

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 20:32 (ten months ago) link

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