Peter Bagge: Conversations (Conversations with Comic Artists) (Hardcover)
For fans of Peter Bagge (b. 1957) and his bracing satirical writing and drawing, this collection offers a means to track how he describes his career choices, work habits, preoccupations, and comedic sensibility since the 1980s. Featuring a new interview and much unavailable material, Bagge's conversations sound insightful, occasionally gossipy, sometimes funny, and often tart. They highlight the many ways in which his career has intersected with the modern history of comics, from underground comix and indy comics to comics journalism and graphic non-fiction. Bagge's detailed, garrulous, and often grotesquely funny (and discomfiting) work harks back to the underground generation, recalling Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton, while also pointing forward to the emergence of alternative comics as a distinct genre. His signature series, the rawly humorous Hate (1990-1998) and his editorship (1983-1986) of the often outrageous Weirdo magazine, founded by Crumb, established him as a leading voice in alternative comics, and his rude, wildly expressive cartooning makes him a counterpoint to the still introspection of recent literary graphic novels. In his career over three decades, Bagge has left his mark on various formats and genres, as a prolific cartoonist, an accomplished musician, and a sometime essayist, editor, and animator. While his creative output encompasses autobiographical comics, graphic non-fiction, magazine illustrations, gag cartoons, mini comics, political commentary, superhero parodies, comic strips, animated videos, and one-page humor pieces, Bagge stands out for creating continuity-based graphic stories that revolve around sharply defined, over-the-top fictional characters. He also seems known among libertarians for his comics journalism, as his graphic biography of Margaret Sanger in 2013 reaches new audiences. While some have lazily branded Bagge as a grunge-era visual satirist, his creative restlessness and expanding body of work make it difficult to confine him within any single genre, cultural niche, or historical moment.
Kent Worcester is professor of political science at Marymount Manhattan College. His books include The Superhero Reader (coedited with Charles Hatfield and Jeet Heer), A Comics Studies Reader (coedited with Jeet Heer), and Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium (coedited with Jeet Heer), all published by University Press of Mississippi.