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WAITING FOR TOMMY: PETER BAGGE
BY RICHARD JOHNSTON

RICHARD: You know I was after you to start dropping names, don't you? Okay, your audience is split. Those who would naturally read you can't because they don't go into comic shops, and your new work there is infrequent. And places they would go, and who would order your work can't because those places don't order through Diamond, who has exclusive deals on Marvel and DC comics. Instead, Yeah, Sweatshop and Incorrigible Hulk are ordered for masochistic freaks like me who love the medium so much -- regardless of the message -- that they'll buy far too much from far too many publishers. There's not many of us, and in most comic shops, there aren't any of us, and so the only place your comics can be ordered, don't want to order you. Is your current comics career just another example of Catch 22?
PETER
: Yes.

RICHARD: Right, I'm should stop asking such long questions. But I'm not going to. Deep breath for this one, everyone. The monthly newsstand magazine DEADLINE brought your work to a mainstream audience in the UK - okay, if not mainstream, then at least music industry/fan/mixed with comics audience.

It broke out - and suddenly people I knew started liking your work. I'm sure I got laid once because I lent someone some old Neat Stuffs I had lying around (LIE: Bagged in plastic and kept in mint condition in a comic box.). My workmate, an old muso, went all of a quiver when told I was interviewing you. Music and comics seem a perfect mix to me, especially pop music, and can be rather beautifully experienced together. A single record and a single comic last the same time, as does an album and a graphic novel. Seen as throwaway pap by most people, treasured and revered by fans. How can the media feed off each other? Do you feel any similarities between the creative process for each? Could comics find an audience through music rather than film?

PETER: Holy smokes. Beats me! Comics and music do have an odd, symbiotic relationship, and I'm often asked to explain it. Artistically all I can say is that comics have a sort of a "beat" to them that ties in with the turning of the pages while simultaneously telling a story, so they're very much like songs in that respect. Other than that, cartoonists often listen to music all day while they work, which would explain why so many of us are such know-it-all music nerds, as well as why so many musical references appear in our work.

RICHARD: Can the next Hate Annual come with a CD?
PETER
: That's a great idea, though I suspect that it may not be worth the cost and effort involved. I'll look into it, though!

RICHARD: Well I'd obviously buy it. I'm easy. You know, you put something out, I buy it, I clearly have no discerning tastes here whatever. I hope that doesn't disturb you, you could fill a comic with blank pages, and there's people like me who'll go '$6.95? Oh go on then... it is Peter Bagge after all. Maybe if I stare at it for long enough and listen to the Kinks, a "Junior" story will magically appear.' I guess it beats the alternative...

Peter Bagge's fourth Hate Annual is out now. His other work can be found at his official website. Rich Johnston overwrites Lying In The Gutters.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

The Waiting For Tommy Archive

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