cover image Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff

Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff

Peter Bagge et al. Fantagraphics, $19.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-60699-622-5

This volume of previously uncollected one-offs and irregular series (such as the Lovey and Shut-Ins strips) by Bagge (Hate, Buddy Bradley) is mostly hilarious, with a handful of misses. The book’s centerpiece is a 50-page collection of collaborations that includes art by Crumb, Clowes, Jaime Hernandez, and Tomine, plus scripts by Dana Gould and Alan Moore. Moore’s contribution is one of the funniest pieces in the book: “The Hasty Smear of My Smile,” which chronicles the emotionally fraught life and times of the misunderstood and maligned corporate mascot, the Kool-Aid Man. The Clowes and Hernandez pieces are noteworthy for the seamlessness of the collaborations; in each case, Bagge’s script and subject matter is perfectly tuned for his artist. Among the few less successful sections is the collaboration with Crumb, a parody of Cathy titled “Caffy!” Part of the problem here is that Guisewite’s creation is too easy a target, and Crumb’s art isn’t up to his usual standards. But it’s the exception in this handsome volume, which contains more than its fair share of smart, sharp, sometimes scathing laughs. Bagge’s bright art and warped figures suggest the skewed view of a master satirist. This collection serves as a good sampler for those not already familiar with Bagge’s masterful “Buddy Bradley” saga. (May)