FOR TOMMY: PETER BAGGE
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
1 | 2
| 3 | 4