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WAITING FOR TOMMY: PETER BAGGE
BY RICHARD JOHNSTON

RICHARD: Buddy Bradley grown up and got himself a proper dead-end job in the new Hate - how many UPS truck drivers have you had to deal with? Most people treat them with disdain - you seem to have an empathy (even though its own they may not see in the work). What do you see in the value of a job for the human condition, whatever its status - and this one in particular?
PETER: I always fantasize about being a delivery truck driver simply because the nature of it is the exact opposite of what I do all day. It's a classic case of the grass being greener. I'm sure if I did do that for a living I'd get sick of it really fast... I knew a few folks who worked for UPS in the distant past, all of whom bragged about stealing from their own trucks. I also had stuff stolen by UPS drivers that I sent out myself in the past, which is why I didn't feel too guilty about singling that company out. This sort of thing is rampant in the New York area where I grew up, though. I've rarely had trouble of this sort here in Seattle.

RICHARD: There's something about working for a boss that brings out the anarchist in all of us. I believe Marx's theories of revolution fell down over his insight into the human condition. We don't want to overthrow out oppressors and seize the means of production, we just want to take as much stuff as we can for free without losing our jobs. And if we're going to lose our jobs anyway, the skies are the limit, whether we're a UPS truck driver or President. How does that urge manifest itself when you're a freelance cartoonist? When you don't have a boss per se? Do you steal from yourself at all?
PETER: Is it possible to steal from yourself? I think not! I try to wrangle as much free paper as I can out of Marvel or DC when I do work for them. That's about the extent of my grubby hired hand behavior.

RICHARD: Well, what's due you? Crumb got a film. Pekar got a film. Clowes got a film, and is getting another, the bastard. Where's yours, hmm? Where does Peter Bagge get the chance to appeal to a new level of degenerate thankless popcorn eating freaks?
PETER: HATE's been optioned a few times as a movie, and such is the case as we speak. I'm ambivalent about it though, since I myself don't see HATE as a movie, and I'm not too excited about the idea of making feature films in general. I enjoy a good flick as much as the next guy, but I'm hardly a "movie buff", and I don't understand, let alone like the movie making business AT ALL. As a result I'd say my own attitude is to "blame" for there not being a HATE movie so far, since you really have to push to make things like that happen.

TV is another matter, though: I'm much more enthusiastic about the prospect of a TV show, preferably something animated, so I'm much more aggressive in that area.

RICHARD: Although, I presume, possibly not with MTV... US TV animation seems to have grown up very fast in the last ten years - almost too fast. Is there room for the slower-build nature of Hate in that format? How drastically would the pace have to change to suit the medium - or would it have to change at all?
PETER: I dunno if HATE would come off as particularly slow paced. Maybe in comparison to "The Simpsons" it would, but compared to "King of the Hill"? I think not. I dunno, though. I'd have to make it first!

RICHARD: Well, lets look at your recent media profile. Meglomaniacal Spider-Man made CNN. A while after it was published, and there were no copies left in comic shops. Will you life be a continual string of missed opportunities? And what fallout did you get from the news exposure?
PETER: I dunno about "fallout." Plugs like that just serve as free advertising, which is nice, though it didn't exactly lead to bigger and better things. As for there being no copies left in the shops: that's the direct market for you, at least as far as mainstream companies are concerned. I of course prefer to have my own comics kept in print and available for re-order, since I don't care for TPB book collections, but even indy publishers are less inclined to do that anymore, since it doesn't make economical sense to keep comics in back stock for too long.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Continued Here...

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