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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bagge's Belgian Beauty

In the wake of the incredible Heritage sale where a page of The Dark Knight sold for almost half a million dollars I'd like to talk a little about original comic art. This is just a small story, but I though I would share it anyway. It's kinda corny...but hey so am I.

First of all I need to explain how much I love Peter Bagge. I'm a big Marvel zombie and my comic collection is almost made up of Marvel from 1961 (FF #1) to 1984(Secret Wars #1) that's what I know and love and those are the parameters for most of my original art pages as well. There are some exceptions, but those are few and far between.
But ever since somebody gave me a copy of Hate #17 as a freebie I have really enjoyed the crazy world of Buddy Bradley, Lisa and all the other misfits. Since then I've bought all the stuff Peter Bagge has made and together with Robert Crumb he's probably the only underground artist I enjoy (I'm pretty vanilla )

I always wanted to own a page with Buddy in his comic book shop, but those are the most popular ones and I've never even seen one. Anyway today my local comic book shop had a copy of Hate annual #9 for me. Peter Bagge has all but stopped with the Buddy series and for the last 5 - 6 years, has only released one Hate comic per year.
So I saved it for last as it's a delicacy only savored once every 12 months.
The issue was finished far too quickly, and when I turned the last page, I was pleasantly surprised by this :

Peter Bagge made a strip about Belgium :roflmao:
(CLICK to enlarge)

Being Belgian, I can tell you he hit the mood perfectly, every and any time I'm in the US and I tell people where I'm from, I need to give them extra info...and the info in this page is almost 100% identical to what I tell folks...

At first I thought of just taking the comic with me when I'm traveling again and just whip it out and show it to everyone when I'm put on the spot...but then I had an idea.
I looked up Peter Bagge's email address and wrote to him, telling him how much I had enjoyed his stuff over the years and that this latest "Belgian" piece was just perfect....oh and BTW is it for sale ?

I didn't have a lot of hope as I went to the site where he usually sells his art and it wasn't there...
Less than an hour later Peter Bagge replied to me, thanking me for the mail and telling me everything he knew about Belgium was on that page and that he should have included the Smurfs as well lol
Oh, and he had kept the page, and had not put it up for sale, but if I was interested he would sell it to me, as it would be cool to have that page actually ending up in Belgium.
Five minutes later I paypalled him his asking price and the original art to the page was mine.

This was the first time I have ever contacted an artist, for any reason whatsoever and it was a very enjoyable experience.


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