Buddy Was There: “Buddy Does Seattle” by Peter Bagge

Buddy sure is coming into his own in these comics, compared with the earlier Bradley family strips. As I’m sure is the case with so many readers of their antics, it’s easy to identify the early twenties slacker lifestyle typified by Buddy, Stinky, Lisa, George and Val. The raging hormones of early adulthood, the low-paying jobs with promise of a nowhere future, and a revolving series of roommates are all part of what makes Buddy’s existence so lovable—from a distance.

The seething arguments and erratic behaviour displayed in these stories are powerful because of the transparency and access that we are granted into the emotional landscape of each character. The loose and expressive style in Buddy Does Seattle (Fantagraphics Books, 2005) is quintessentially Peter Bagge. It brings home the drama with a uniqueness that cannot be imitated.

I am a convert, and will be catching up on all of Buddy’s adventures none too soon! If only I could have appreciated Mr. Bagge’s presence at the Victoria Comic Book Convention all those years ago (1983, I think!) more fully. All I remember is how exciting it was to have met the creator of the gag strips included in the Double Bubble chewing gum, “Pud’s Funnies.”

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