cover image Hey Buddy!

Hey Buddy!

Peter Bagge. Fantagraphics Books, $12.95 (120pp) ISBN 978-1-56097-113-9

Bagge ( The Bradleys ) continues to chronicle the misadventures, life experiences and repugnant habits of Buddy Bradley, oldest son of America's most dysfunctional suburban family. Buddy has managed to leave the clammy security of his family in New Jersey. Now he's living in Seattle, which Bagge portrays as the grunge capital of the U.S.; a place of cheap apartments, cheaper drugs and plenty of lowlife, with rocker deadbeats working in used bookstores and organizing bands. Buddy shares an apartment with his old friend Stinky and with George, a reclusive devotee of arcane religious, UFO and conspiracy theories, and probably the oddest black man ever to show up in a comic book. These stories satirize a special kind of low-budget lifestyle that, often as not, continues long past the twentysomething years into a cheerful, underachieving, bohemian middle age. Bagge's drawings have an abstract wackiness and comic flair all their own. Also included is the short story ``Prisoner of Hate Island,'' a very funny recreation of the kind of editorial meetings that ``alternative'' cartoonists must endure on a regular basis. (May)