Four Letter Nerd

The Road to Nashville Comic Con 2014: An Interview with Peter Bagge

Tomorrow! Nashville Comic Con starts TOMORROW! We hope you’re all as excited as we are! Today, for the 3rd installment of our Nashville Comic Con Guest interviews, we talked to cartoonist Peter Bagge, whose career in comics goes back decades. The man is a legend! Check out the interview below, and makes sure to stop by Peter’s booth and say hi, at Wizard World’s Nashville Comic Con this weekend!



4LN – How did you get your start in the comics industry?

Peter Bagge – I just kept practicing until my art was not-lousy enough to be published. I started appearing in print in 1980. I also started self publishing with friends back then.


4LN – Are there any writers and/or artists who’ve had an especially impacting influence on you throughout the years?

PB – Of course! Charles Schulz and later Robert Crumb were the big ones. Also a lot of the MAD artists, and later early underground artists.


4LN – Your comic series HATE is considered to be one of the best-selling alternative comic of the 1990’s. What changes have you noticed in the landscape of alternative and indie comics since you began that series?

PB – The switch to books over the traditional comic, for one thing. Artists think “long form” now. Also, doing web comics instead of of mini-comics. Content wise, there’s so much variety that it’s tough to make generalizations.

4LN – I recently listened to some tracks from your band “Can You Imagine?“, which I’ll describe as a surf-rock band with obvious old-school punk and new wave influences (does that sound right?). I loved it! Is playing music something you’ve always done, or is this a new venture for you?

PB – Thanks! Yeah, I’d say we’re “new wave-y,” though we’re mainly influenced By late 1960s pop rock — Beatles, Beach Boys, etc. I played with friends back in high school, but other than always having a guitar around I didn’t join a band again until the late 1990s. Not time for it before then!


4LN – At the end of last year you released “Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story”, which is a graphic novel biography of noted early 1900’s social reformist Margaret Sanger. What drew you to her story and made you want to work on this book?

PB – Everything about her made me fascinated. She lead a wild life, and fought bravely for her cause. A passionate, complex character.

4LN – Do you have any upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?

PB – Long term I’m working on yet another bio comic — this one on the author Zora Neale Hurston. There also is a collection of my old comic series SWEATSHOP coming out in early 2015.


4LN – What advice would you give to someone who’s interested in pursuing a career in the comic book industry?

Work hard, and stay true to yourself. Simple advice, but hardly EASY.


4LN – Here at 4LN we like to do a lightning round of questions. These are questions you can just answer with the first thing that comes to mind…
What’s your all-time favorite breakfast food?
PB – Boring old bacon and eggs.

4LN – The one graphic novel that all comic fans should read is…

4LN – What album can you always listen to no matter what?
PB – Anything by the Beatles. Not at all original, I know.

4LN – Best live-action depiction of Batman to date…
PB – The 1960s TV show. I LOVED that show. I have no use for any of the movies. That stoic, Clint Eastwood-type persona really gets on my nerves.

4LN – What fictional city would you most like to live in?
PB – Any one that has flying cars.

4LN – Final question: If you could set up one historical figure and one cartoon character to face off in a fiery cage match to the death, who would you toss into the ring?
PB – Stalin and Garfield. I’d be rooting for both of their deaths.


For more on Peter’s work and projects, check out his official website:

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Stephen Andrew

Stephen has spent most of his life reading comics, watching horror movies, listening to death metal music, and speaking in the third person. His favorite comic book character is The Punisher, and he believes that the Punisher: War Zone movie is criminally underrated. His favorite film of all-time is National Lampoon's Vacation, and his favorite album is Pantera's "The Great Southern Trendkill".

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