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A collection of the first fifteen issues of Hate comic. What we have is a chronicle of life in 1990s Seattle from the perspective of Buddy, a twenty-something drop-out. Fans of the graphic novel genre will have their top tens, and while for some Peter Bagge's work might not appear in their ten, Hate comic will still feature somewhere on their recommended reading list. Robert Crumb and Matt Groening are both big fans of Bagge's work.
My own introduction to Buddy Bradley, the anti-hero of the stories, was through Bagge's later book "Buddy does Jersey" which is set after the events that take place in Seattle. Although it took some time to appreciate Bagge's claustrophobic and cartoonish artwork, I quickly found myself engrossed in the work, following the trials and tribulations of Buddy (his girlfriend and the rest of his family). And, it's true, I found it difficult to warm to any of the characters. In fact I almost give up on the book but I'm glad I didn't. Sticking with the book paid off and I ended up thoroughly enjoying the read. Afterwards, I didn't hesitate to order the first collection, Buddy does Seattle.
How does the Buddy in Seattle compare to Buddy in Jersey? The artwork in the former is a little different, still claustrophobic but then so are the lives of the characters depicted. Buddy is the same, likeable in the end because he comes across as a real person (despite the cartoonish rendering).
In common with, I think, many other graphic novel fans, Peter Bagge's work does not have a place in my top ten but I have no hesitation in recommending Buddy does Seattle to fans of the genre.