Comics Alternative Interviews: Back with Peter Bagge

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Time Codes:

  • 00:00:25 – Introduction
  • 00:02:25 – Setup of interview
  • 00:04:45 – Interview with Peter Bagge
  • 01:35:33 – Wrap up
  • 01:37:22 – Contact us


“Forever on the horizon, never out of sight”

The Two Guys are pleased to have Peter Bagge back on The Comics Alternative. His new book Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story comes out this week from Drawn and Quarterly. It is another in Bagge’s recent series of historical and biographical comics, following his brief biography of Isabel Paterson (appearing in Reason in 2010), Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story (2013), and Founding Father Funnies (2016). In this interview, Derek talks with Peter about the genesis of this project, what brought him to the writings and personality of Huston, the socio-political contexts surrounding Hurston’s work, and his research efforts in compiling the graphic biography. Fire!! is, in many ways, a companion piece to Woman Rebel, in that both focus on iconoclastic female figures, and their stories are told through an episodic, almost snap-shot, manner of narration. Although Peter and Derek spend the majority their time discussing Zora Neale Hurston, they also cover some of Peter’s other works, such as his Founding Father Funnies collection, last year’s Neat Stuff boxed set, and the possibilities of a similar treatment with Hate and other Bradley family stories.

Be sure to check out Peter Bagge’s other appearances on The Comics Alternative:

Comics Alternative Interviews: Peter Bagge

Listen to the podcast!

Hate No More

SnotNoseWhile Derek attended this year’s Fan Expo Dallas, he had the opportunity to talk with Peter Bagge not once, but twice! On the Saturday of the con Peter was kind enough to sit down for a lengthy interview — about 30 minutes — in-between fans, commissions, and signings. Although their back-and-forth was substantial, there were subject matters that they didn’t get to cover on that first day. So they decided to follow up with another interview on Sunday. What you’ll hear in this podcast episode is an edited result of two-days-worth of recorded conversation at Fan Expo Dallas. Among other topics, Derek asks Peter about the response to 2013’s Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story, and that leads to a discussion of the creator’s next project, a graphic biography of Zora Heale Hurston. Peter shares his experiences researching for the book, the politics underlying Hurston’s previous biographers, and the challenges of putting the writer’s life — the palatable as well as the problematic — into comics form. They also discuss Peter’s recent work on IDW’s Garbage Pail Kids Puketacular and the connections between card collecting, comics, and pornography. In addition, Derek talks with Peter about the release of Sweatshop, a series that was originally published by DC Comics in 2003, and then just recently collected in trade through Fantagraphics. It’s the story of a newspaper cartoonist and his disgruntled assistants, and Peter explains that this is a title that he will probably never revisit, especially due to the fact that strip cartooning (at least in newspapers) is, unfortunately, a dying form. And the jury’s still out on whether or not Peter Bagge at Fan Expo Dallas 1will return to one of his most iconic creations, Buddy Bradley. Derek is a huge fan of Hate and the Hate Annual, and he specifically asks Bagge if there’s any future for Buddy and Lisa. Although that fact remains uncertain — as is a return of Guy Krause from 2012’s Reset — what is more assured is a collection of Peter’s Founding Father Funnies that will be coming out through Dark Horse Comics in the near future. Peter even shares with Derek news that his Neat Stuff comics will be collected in nice archival editions through Fantagraphics. However, the conversation isn’t only about the comics. They spend a lot of time talking about Peter’s love of pop music — like Derek, he is a big Beach Boys and (especially) Brian Wilson buff — and especially his work as a musician in The Action Suits, and more recently the band Can You Imagine? In fact, you can hear clips from the band’s 2012 CD, Romance!, in this episode. Derek has previously interviewed Peter twice before — first, at the 2013 HeroesCon  and then for the blog around the release of Woman Rebel — but this time around, they cover entirely new territory. There’s a lot packed into this conversation, so give it a listen. And a great big thanks to Peter Bagge for taking the time and being on the podcast!

Be sure to check out Peter Bagge’s website.

The soundtrack for this episode can be found on the Can You Imagine? CD, Romance!:

  • “A Traumatic Ending”
  • “Housework”
  • “Rich Girl Poor Girl”
  • “Dennis!”