cover image Junior and Other Losers

Junior and Other Losers

Peter Bagge. Fantagraphics Books, $0 (126pp) ISBN 978-1-56097-048-4

Bagge's ( The Bradleys ) collection of misfits, nerds and assorted losers represents American satirical cartooning at its most inventively hilarious. He serves up the worst that American suburban ``culture'' has to offer. Junior is a simpleminded oaf who hates to leave the safety of his mother's house. When he does venture out, he ends up with a degenerate for a landlord (Junior finds his stash of Animal Lust magazine) and an unscrupulous conman as a housemate--an untoward experience which sends him quickly back to mom. But not all of Bagge's characters are geeks. Chet and Bunny Leeway, a quick, youngish couple living inexplicably in alienatingly bland suburbia, star in the most amusing stories in this collection. Their encounters with neighbors who are bigoted and proud of it, with radical castrating feminists and conniving artists and with their own engagingly neurotic personalities exemplify Bagge's ability to convey a sincere and subtle portrait of a happily modern relationship. Bagge's drawing is a masterpiece of cartoony realism--Hanna-Barbera meets the Ash Can Schoolwow, good line! --wildly caricatured with sharp detail and a wonderful range of expression. (May)