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Peter Bagge Discusses “Other Stuff,” “Rebel Woman”

by  in Comic News Comment

Peter Bagge has nothing left to prove to the comics world. Best known for the seminal “Hate” and “Neat Stuff,” more recently Bagge has created a number of miniseries and graphic novels including “Reset,” “Other Lives” and “Apocalypse Nerd.” He’s also created a broad spectrum of work, both fiction and nonfiction, for “Mad Magazine,” “Creepy,” “Reason Magazine” and many others. One of his particular focuses in recent years has been historical comics, as seen in “Founding Father Funnies,” a number of comics published in “Reason” and his upcoming graphic biography of birth control activist and sex educator Margaret Sanger.

Bagge’s new book “Other Stuff” collects short comics, but the primary focus — and its appeal for many readers — are the collaborations it contains with other writers and artists. Many of the people are Bagge’s peers — Dan Clowes, Adrian Tomine, Gilbert Hernandez — but there are more, with a roster ranging from Robert Crumb to Alan Moore to Fantagraphics Associate Editor Eric Reynolds. There are parodies of “Dilbert” and “Cathy,” stories that poke fun at the comics world, semi-autobiographical tales of suburban couple Chet and Bunny and all of Bagge’s stories about “Lovey.” Bagge spoke with CBR News about all of this, and more.

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CBR News: Though you’re known as a solo act, a number of the pieces in “Other Stuff” are collaborations with other cartoonists. What made you interested in doing this and what did you enjoy about working with people

I kept inadvertently stumbling across information about her — much of it being maliciously erroneous — while researching other people. I became intrigued, and while reading about her further was struck by what a wild, adventurous life she had led. The stuff of comic books, in other words!

If your Margaret Sanger book does well, do you have a short list of other historical and political figures you’d like to tackle?

There are some lesser known people I’d like to write about, though that fact makes them a harder sell. As it is, I’m shocked at how many people tell me they’d never heard of Margaret Sanger!

I know you’re working on a number of other things right now, but I don’t know if you want to talk about any of them —

I’m about to start working on another graphic novel for Dark Horse, which is more or less a sequel to “Reset,” in that it shows that book’s main character starring in a reality show. It will also feature “Founding Father Funnies” back up strips, like the “Apocalypse Nerd” series did.

A couple years ago, Fantagraphics published a collection of “Yeah!,” the comic you and Gilbert Hernandez created which was published by DC Comics. Is there any chance we’ll see a collection of “Sweatshop,” which was also a DC project?

Yes, as soon as the publishing rights revert back to me, which I assume they will. I should find out, soon!