Hate by Peter Bagge

Peter Bagge, Hate “I’ve Got Three Moms!” pp. 32, 1996

Peter Bagge (born 1957) arrived at the School of Visual Arts in New York City just in time for punk rock. With several friends (including Punk co-editor John Holstrom), he published three issues of Comical Funnies from 1980 to 1981. He was tapped by Robert Crumb to become editor of Crumb's anthology Weirdo, a position he held from 1983 to 1986. In 1985, he started his solo comic Neat Stuff, which was in the one-man anthology format pioneered by Crumb in the 60s. One of the continuing features in Neat Stuff were the stories of an extremely dysfunctional, the Bradleys. In 1990, he spun off a comic about the young adult son in the Bradleys, Buddy Bradley. This comic had the provocative title Hate.

Bagge's studied with legendary MAD creator Harvey Kurtzman at the SVA, and his drawing techniques are based on Kurtzman's own highly methodical way of carefully redrawing a page over and over until it appears totally spontaneous. (Art Spiegelman is another cartoonist who employs this Kurtzman-derived technique.) The ultimate influence for Bagge's rubbery cartooning style may be MAD Magazine stalwart Don Martin.

The Buddy Bradley stories in Hate were semi-autobiographical, always set about 10 years behind his own life and transposed to the present. Bagge had the good fortune to be on the scene writing about a young rock and roller in Seattle when the grunge phenomenon took off. Hate was something of an accoutrement to this musical moment, along with flannel shirts. Later Bagge moved his characters to New Jersey, where Buddy eventually started his own business and got married. Hate was a witty and penetrating portrait of American life in the 90s.

Subsequently Bagge has continued to write and draw comics for publications ranging from Reason to the Weekly World News. Most of his work is in print, with a new collection, Peter Bagge's Other Stuff scheduled for May publication.

Peter Bagge, Hate “I’ve Got Three Moms!” pp. 33, 1996

Peter Bagge, Hate “I’ve Got Three Moms!” pp. 34, 1996

Peter Bagge, Hate “I’ve Got Three Moms!” pp. 35, 1996