Buddy Does SeattleBook |
The 1990s was a time for Hate.
After more than a decade of working in alternative comics, including a stint as editor of R. Crumb's anthology Weirdo, Peter Bagge began writing and illustrating Hate, which became one of the most successful non-mainstream comics of the 1990s. It featured Buddy Bradley, a loutish underachiever who first appeared in Bagge's publication Neat Stuff, and whose adventures were based on the author's experiences as a twenty-something. Buddy Does Seattle collects the first 15 issues of Hate, in which the protagonist has relocated to the Pacific Northwest and become the consummate slacker. He works a dead-end job, parties to excess, and complains endlessly about problems that he's too lazy to do anything about. But despite this, Buddy's life becomes increasingly complicated thanks to two women—one a feminist, the other a self-destructive manic-depressive—as well as a childhood pal who keeps roping him into various hare-brained schemes. First published when Seattle was exploding in popularity due to the rise of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and various grunge bands, Hate offered a decidedly un-romanticized take on a particular time and place. In fact, Buddy and company spend most of their time dwelling in The Emerald City's underbelly, having ugly encounters with poseurs, psychotics, and one another. At the same time, Bagge's artwork took the public's perception of '90s youth as angry and volatile and pushed it to hysterical levels. Heavily influenced by late-'60s counterculture cartoonists like Crumb, Bagge's drawings are fluid and grimy-looking, with frequent use of exaggerated facial expressions helping to cultivate an atmosphere of chaos. As a work of cultural commentary it's brash and invigorating, and remains so years later.