About Peter Bagge
Clint Corey interview

    Before Hate you had achieved some success in the world of alternative comics with Neat Stuff, yet were still barely making a livable income. The reason you continued and came up with the idea for Hate was that you were "completely unskilled at any other kind of work." Is this the strategy you recommend for all struggling young artists?

    Ha! Well, no. I think everyone should have some kind of marketable skills. Yet while I like to think that I was driven by inspiration more than anything else, I do wonder if I ever would have wound up making a living as a cartoonist if I was able to make a comfortable living doing something else. A stable and secure income is very seductive. I STILL sometimes with I had a "regular" job, just for the stability!



    With regard to Hate, why did you pick such a negative title?

    In part it was a reaction -- an OVER-reaction, perhaps -- to the title of my first regular title, "Neat Stuff," which was too POSITIVE in relation to the subject matter. Plus I wanted a very short, snappy name that was easy to remember.



    During your earlier years you did some work for Screw magazine. What are the similarities between your work and being a porn star?

    Uh, none? I've never been a porn star, so I'm not qualified to make comparisons.



    In the mid-eighties you worked as Managing Editor for the legendary Robert Crumb's magazine Weirdo. Talk about that experience and the influence the legendary R. Crumb had on you.

    The job paid terrible since WEIRDO didn't sell very well, and it was difficult having to deal with the many contributers, some of whom were certifiably insane. But it was a great learning experience, and Crumb was very helpful in every way imaginable.



    Who were some of your other major influences?

    As a kid, Charles M Schulz was a big one, as was MAD Magazine and old Warner Brothers cartoons. Later it was underground cartoonists like Aline Crumb, Bill Griffith and Kim Deitch, as well as old-timers like MAD founder Harvey Kurtzman.



    How similar is Buddy Bradley's family to your immediate family?

    Pretty similar, sad to say.



    Who would Buddy Bradley rather take out: Wonder Woman, Veronica from Archie or that hot young secretary on Hong Kong Fooey?

    I don't remember the last one! But I'll pick her anyway, since I can't see him getting along with the first two, in spite of their attractiveness.



    When you first moved to Seattle, to handle the cost of living you stayed in your sister-in-law's basement. That basement also belonged to her husband Seattle Seahawks' (what position?) Mike Tice. Can you elaborate on some of your experiences with his teammates?

    Most of them were very nice, actually. You keep hearing about all these NFL players lately who are running around killing people and the like, but the ones I met were just plain folks. Even the "stars" like Dave Kreig and Steve Largent were nice guys, though I had nothing in common with them. Mike Tice played tight end in the NFL for 13 long years, and now he's a coach for the Vikings.



    Hollywood has discovered the widespread appeal of comics as evidenced by Todd McFarlane's Spawn (New Line), the Terry Zwigoff directed R. Crumb documentary and now Dan Clowes Ghostworld (America Beauty's Thora Birch to star). You've had some Hollywood interest in adapting Hate into a live action feature as well as an animated cartoon (MTV). Not to mention the interest in your most recent offering, Yeah!. Please expound on your feelings toward the Hollywood system.

    The main thing that Hollywood has to offer that I'm interested in is the possibility of making a lot of money. No one has every gotten rich doing the kind of comics that I do, and the economic outlook for the comics industry is getting dimmer all the time, so I have no choice but to start to look elsewhere. That being said, there's no such thing a an easy buck, and trying to learn the ins and outs of show biz is quite a hat trick in and of itself. I'm learning though, slowly but surely.

I very much like the idea of making an animated TV show, though. I hope I get the opportunity to do so one day. Making a live action movie is much less appealing to me, but I'll go along with it if only for the exposure.



    Speaking of Dan Clowes, in 1993 you and he went on a "Hate-Ball" tour to promote your respective comics. Tell us about your experiences during this tour.

    It was fun for the most part, although neither of us were used to being "celebrities," so it was a bit awkward and embarrassing at times. I don't particularly enjoy travelling or appearing in public, so I'm not particularly eager to do something like that again.



    Currently, you are steering away from comics and toward doing features for dot-coms. Are comics a dying breed, and, if so, why do you think that is?

    Comics aren't about to die, but they're becoming more of a precious little oddball novelty; less relevent and more marginalized all the time. The web at least potentially can allow me to do what I want to do while reaching way more people. The web is cheap and accessible; comics are not.



    Is there a better line for picking up chicks than, "I'm a comic book artist."?

    I don't think there's a WORSE one!


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