Re/Read is an occasional column by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid examining backlist books you may have missed or merit another look. This time we’ll focus on Buddy Buys a Dump by Peter Bagge.
A generation of comix enthusiasts came of age following the foibles of Buddy Bradley and his crew of lovable losers in Peter Bagge’s Hate. This work came to define the youth movement associated with Seattle’s “grunge” counterculture. Bagge became a central figure in illustrating the attitudes and aesthetics of this global phenomenon. A truly remarkable achievement.
Buddy Buys a Dump collects the 9 issues of Hate Annual published between 2001 and 2011, with a new chapter that concludes the series. Buddy Bradley’s story arc reflects the experiences of many members of Generation X, from youthful miscreant to semi-responsible business owner, family man, and finally, caregiver to aging parents. This progression is at once outrageously funny and movingly familiar. Without spoiling the ending, the book is like saying goodbye to a lifelong friend. A must read for anyone interested in contemporary comix and American pop culture.
You can meet this legendary artist at Fantagraphics 40th anniversary celebration on Saturday, December 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore. Peter will be joined by Jim Woodring, Ellen Forney, Megan Kelso, and special guests Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, with a musical performance by Simon Hanselmann. The bookstore reception will be followed by a festive anniversary gala at the nearby Georgetown Stables. Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle’s historic Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8: PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206-658-0110. See you on Saturday.