Since Peter Bagge discontinued the regular publication of his landmark comic book series, Hate, he’s been producing annual editions called the HATE ANNUAL. Annual #5 saw a late spring publication, and it contains the usual material, something for fans desperate to get a dose of Bagge and especially his Hate anti-hero, Buddy Bradley.
In each annual, we get one Buddy short story that updates us on what our boy’s been doing, and it becomes clearer every year that Bagge has no intention on letting Buddy age like fine – wisdom is not coming with age. In “Fuddy Duddy Buddy,” Buddy is reliably eccentric and stubborn, but, simply put, this short isn’t enough.
Other material includes several episodes of “Bat Boy,” a weekly comic strip serial that Bagge produces for Weekly World News. Full of the madcap, selfish, and devious characters that frequently populate Bagge cartoons, The Adventures of Bat Boy is also funny because Bagge clearly does not believe in sacred cows. Few cartoonists after the legends of Underground Comix are as good as Bagge when it comes to revealing that so much of the cultural dramas, family conflicts, and governmental politics amounts to a bunch of crazy people running around trying to put one over one another.
Through his cartoons, Bagge can cut people down to their essential self-centered and egotistical selves. The character of Bat Boy is merely a vehicle through which Bagge reveals the terrible two-year old in so many public figures. The rest of this Annual is rather tepid in comparison. I wish he’d do more with his Hate cast, but that’s just my selfish opinion. B