Underground Film Journal

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Hate Annual #3

By Mike Everleth ⋅ February 9, 2003

Hate Annual #3

So, Peter Bagge’s newest HATE installment has finally been unleashed this year and, as always, the question is: Was it worth the wait? And, as always, the answer is: Yes and No … But mostly “Yes.”

Once again we are treated to another appallingly brief chapter in the life of crank extraordinaire Buddy Bradley. I feel like such a shit complaining about the brevity of this tale, but as Bagge probably would probably well know ALL I WANT IS ALL BUDDY ALL THE TIME!!

*SOB* How many years has it been since HATE came out on a quarterly basis and all I still really want is for it to come back as a monthly! Ok, even bimonthly would keep me sedate and happy. It’s pathetic, really, the love and devotion I still feel towards this classic book.

*SIGH* So, on the one hand, it really burns my ass that Bagge spends so little time with his most famous creation. But, on the other hand, good for him and thank God he continually expands his repertoire. It makes him a better artist/social critic.

I don’t know if I can claim “The Domestication of Lisa Leavenworth-Bradley” yet another stroke of pure brilliance or if it’s just that I can totally relate to the subject matter. Why is it that I am so fascinated — and yet at the same time appalled by my fascination — by the TV show phenomenon “Trading Spaces,” on cable’s TLC network? To have Buddy “dis” the show on the first page was, like the old more-regularly-published HATE in every issue, a direct grab into my own diseased brain and twisted like the lips on the mouths of Bagge’s characters. Yet, I have to wonder how Buddy can favor the redhead designer with the big boobies, when obviously the blond Amazon with the big boobies is the one who has it goin’ on.

The other new story this issue is the parody “Dildobert Joins the Al-Qaeda,” which is co-created with Johnny Ryan, the only legal successor to the WEIRDO school of underground comic artists. Although the comic strip “Dilbert” may seem like an odd choice to parody — he’s SO 1990s — it’s an effective and offensive little ditty, which makes one wonder why more accessible entertainment doesn’t deal with important issues. And between “Dildobert” and “Hipler” in the most recent ANGRY YOUTH COMIX, one can only long for a regular collaborative book by these two angry spitfires. (An aside: Aren’t Bagge and Ryan aware of the whole Dan O’Neill and the “Air Pirates” saga?)

I also certainly can’t complain about HATE ANNUAL #3 featuring 20 pages of Chet & Bunny Leeway, my other favorite Bagge creation and who were featured in the single funniest comic of the 1980s (reprinted in Fantagraphics’ apparently now out of print BEST COMICS OF THE DECADE vol. 1). The current Leeway story’s focus on Internet addiction and failed Internet companies is also a bit out of date — it originally appeared on Adobe.com two years ago — but they’re still the same cheery dysfunctional suburban couple they’ve always been.

Finally, rounding out the webpage and magazine reprints are the adventures of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Dad” Murray Wilson, creator of the Beach Boys (literally), and a dead-on ’90s punk anti-nostalgia trip from “Details” magazine.

So, even though my own selfish needs were not fulfilled by HATE ANNUAL #3, it’s still yet another hilarious rant against, well, against just about everything that’s wrong with our culture.

And, hey, while you’re at it, why don’t you mosey on over to Peter Bagge’s official site or bask in his political commentary in “Reason” magazine.