Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me: And Other Astute Observations

Overview

Nominated for a 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: a decade of informed, provocative, cantankerous and hilarious cartoon opinion pieces for Reason magazine from our favorite libertarian curmudgeon, on topics ranging from Stupid War to Stupid Sex and, of course, Stupid Politicians.Fans of Peter Bagge’s generation-defining, satirical fiction may not realize this, but the cartoonist doubles as an opinionated cuss, and has been contributing provocative (but still hilarious) comic-strip opinion pieces to Reason ...

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Overview

Nominated for a 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award: a decade of informed, provocative, cantankerous and hilarious cartoon opinion pieces for Reason magazine from our favorite libertarian curmudgeon, on topics ranging from Stupid War to Stupid Sex and, of course, Stupid Politicians.Fans of Peter Bagge’s generation-defining, satirical fiction may not realize this, but the cartoonist doubles as an opinionated cuss, and has been contributing provocative (but still hilarious) comic-strip opinion pieces to Reason magazine for the last several years...finally collected in this volume.Although a libertarian by inclination (hence the Reason gig), Bagge (who lives in the fuzzy-headed, liberal capital of the Northwest, Seattle) is hardly dogmatic, and many of the pieces undermine traditional party lines in favor of a rather personal, rational and informed take on hot-button issues that will force partisan Democrats and Republicans alike to rethink them. And of course, Bagge’s well-researched comic strip “essays” crackle with the same energy and wit that propelled him into the collective Gen X consciousness with his comic book series Hate.Favorite topics include the erosion of our civil liberties (whether the post-9/11 Bush administration's gradual erosion of the Bill of Rights, the insanity of the war on drugs, or nanny-state meddling), ongoing boondoggles of the American public (for professional sports stadiums or ineffective public transportation systems), the Iraq war (Bagge is vociferously against it), so-called art and so-called entertainment, the homeless, the mall-ification of America, politicians both in general and in particular (including the 2008 presidential race and a revelatory one-on-one with Republican not-so-hopeful Ron Paul that soured Bagge on the candidate forever), the conservative/religious war on sex and drugs, and whether citizens should be allowed to own bazookas. Each piece features the voluble Bagge himself front and center as the puzzled, indignant, or deeply conflicted everyman-on-the-street trying to make sense of this 21st Century.And of course, every panel is delineated in Bagge’s glorious, laugh-out-loud stretchy 4-color cartoon style, making even his disquisitions on some very serious topics go down as smoothly as Buddy Bradley’s latest escapade. Nominated for a 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award (Best Humor Publication).

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
“Like all good political cartoonists, Bagge can be cruel. But he’s also willing to skewer himself when he deserves it... as libertarian polemicists go, he’s a lot more fun than, say, Ayn Rand.”
Fort Worth Business Press
[Bagge's] Reason features... add up to a splendidly funny-and-angry new book... Bagge rejects party-line herd-following in order to raise a uniquely sane voice among political cartoonists... [He is] one terrific cartoonist, with a keen constancy of purpose.— Michael H. Price
Reason Magazine
“Reason's own beloved Peter Bagge has a fantastic collection of a near-decade's worth of political cartooning coming out from Fantagraphics. The content is king but the actual production is nothing short of stunning, filled with the bright, bright colors that Paul Simon used to sing about back when Kodak was still making film.”
KEXP
[M]y favorite comics collection of the year so far... Bagge wickedly and wonderfully shows a truly individualistic viewpoint, an actual bullshit detector raging full blast (occasionally to the point of anxiety-induced overload), with ideas and observations both fearlessly marginalist and unabashedly mainstream (like the best rock and roll, in my opinion)... it is hot and fun.— Chris Estey
Las Vegas Weekly
Honest-to-God reporting…somewhere between an editorial, an essay and a feature article, communicated through Bagge’s familiar big-headed, bendy-armed, super-expressive style.— J. Caleb Mozzocco
Monster on a Rope
“More than anything, Bagge's work does what it always does with perfection, which is capture people doing exactly what people really do, and how they often think when they think that nobody else thinks that they are thinking it (sorry). His art is constantly moving, perpetually fluid, and instantly recognizable to a 21st century American culture raised on Tex Avery and Bob Clampett cartoons. Whether you agree with his politics or not, Everybody Is Stupid is thought-provoking and, most importantly, hilarious.”
Seattle Weekly
[H]is craftsmanship—in the tradition of Mad's Don Martin and Nancy creator Ernie Bushmiller—lies in his ability to reduce his drawings to the simplest possible details needed to tell the story. His rants are funny, but the frictionless gag-delivery systems of his panels are an even more effective rebuke to the willful obscurity of contemporary art.— David Stoesz
The Great God Pan Is Dead
These strips are very, very funny, and if they force you to work harder to defend your point of view against Bagge's arguments, is that bad?— Robert Boyd
Hypergeek
Bagge delivers intelligent political insights, biting witticism, and irreverent satire. Everything is of course accompanied by Bagge’s instantly recognizable art style, with his gormless looking, bendy-limbed caricatures, which bring everyone down to the same (silly) level. It’s a brilliant piece of work, and perhaps Bagge’s finest achievement to date.— Edward Kaye
Richard Bruton - The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log
“For those of you familiar only with Bagge’s Gen X tales of angry, lost youth in Hate, the realisation that Bagge has developed into an opinionated, curmudgeonly middle aged man may seem as disturbing as seeing your favourite band of your teens back on stage now they’re all fortysomethings. But there’s no need to fear—Bagge’s middle age self displays all the angry, hilarious energy of his younger self, just with more direction and purpose. [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me is] definitely one to look forward to.”
Kevin Mathews - The Power of Pop
“Something for everyone in this educational, humorous and borderline offensive tome. Communicated in Bagge’s trademarked bugged out style...a must-have for fans of incisive political commentary.”
Rick Klaw - The SF Site: Nexus Graphica
“With great candor and wit, Bagge tackles [the] issues...in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me, a collection of his strips from Reason magazine. As in his previous works like Hate and The Bradleys, Bagge deftly manages to simultaneously anger and amuse the reader with his intensely personal stories about larger topical issues.”
Everett True
“A compilation of the notorious Seattle libertarian’s politically (and sexually) charged comics for Reason magazine... It’s great. So colourful (always my favourite part of Pete’s comics) and acerbic and smart-ass, but with a heart and purpose behind the bickering and keenly observes caricatures... It’s too early to say now, but right now I’m thinking it’s perhaps my favourite stuff of his, full stop.”
Michael H. Price - Fort Worth Business Press
“[Bagge's] Reason features... add up to a splendidly funny-and-angry new book... Bagge rejects party-line herd-following in order to raise a uniquely sane voice among political cartoonists... [He is] one terrific cartoonist, with a keen constancy of purpose.”
Tim Heffernan - Esquire
“As combative, iconoclastic, and embittered as its title suggests it would be. It is also smart, thought-provoking, and funny as hell. Disconcertingly, you'll agree with at least half of what Bagge says. Then, gratifyingly, you'll realize that everybody is stupid except for you, too.”
Rob Clough
“Like H.L. Mencken, [Peter] Bagge favors a scorched-earth satirical attack, tearing down arguments by ridicule as much as reason.... It's rare to see a cartoonist branch out into this kind of second act of a career with this much flourish and skill... his work here demands a reader's attention every bit as much as the more famous editorial cartoonists in America... Best of all, Bagge is still funny... and this is a very good thing for both his hardcore fans and new readers alike.”
Matthew J. Brady
“There's some great material in [Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me], whether you agree with the opinions or not, since Bagge does some great cartooning and good journalism, providing hilarious insights into topics like art, public transportation, homelessness, and gun ownership.”
Chris Mautner - Robot 6
“[T]he pieces collected in awesomely-named Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me... are wonderfully entertaining and often fall-on-the-floor funny, even when you find yourself at odds with Bagge’s viewpoint... While his focus may have changed, his work remains as delightful as it did in the alt-comix heyday. Stupid just confirms what many of us already knew: he’s still one of the funniest cartoonists in America today.”
Chris Estey - KEXP
“[M]y favorite comics collection of the year so far... Bagge wickedly and wonderfully shows a truly individualistic viewpoint, an actual bullshit detector raging full blast (occasionally to the point of anxiety-induced overload), with ideas and observations both fearlessly marginalist and unabashedly mainstream (like the best rock and roll, in my opinion)... it is hot and fun.”
Corey Blake
“I don’t always agree with [Peter Bagge's] position [in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me], but his exploration is always great. And hearing other opinions and positions (especially well-informed like his), is almost always worthwhile.”
J. Caleb Mozzocco - Las Vegas Weekly
“Honest-to-God reporting…somewhere between an editorial, an essay and a feature article, communicated through Bagge’s familiar big-headed, bendy-armed, super-expressive style.”
The Onion A.V. Club
“The book finds Bagge as sharp and irate as ever…Bagge is, thankfully, still possessed of a great sense of humor, especially about himself…but reader’s individual reactions to the strips collected here depend on how much they agree with his choice of targets. And since those targets are fairly wide-ranging, almost anyone reading it is bound to get offended somewhere, which is certainly exactly what Bagge is hoping for.”
Jesse Brown - Boing Boing
“I've been enjoying cartoonist Peter Bagge's contributions to Reason Magazine for years now... Bagge has been doing really interesting work, mixing field journalism with humor and opinion in an entirely novel way. As an essayist Bagge is never preachy, and he often points out the shortcomings of his fellow libertarians (his account of meeting Ron Paul is particularly funny). He explores more than he rants, and when he does let loose, he's got a healthy sense of self-satire. These comics will piss you off, and that's good.”
Roger Sabin - The Observer
“Rage of a different kind in Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me and Other Astute Observations by Peter Bagge. This collection of satirical rants from the American libertarian magazine Reason... is philosophically more about punk individualism than Ayn Rand, and artistically the heir to 1980s indie comics. Indeed, Bagge is an indie star, famous for his wonderfully elastic cartooning style and punk-inflected comedies.”
Ibrow
“These are good comics, fun to read and definitely funny, definitely searing and when he hits a target he gets it right. Also there’s something to be said for the journalist tone of the writing and the structure of the strips would translate well into a proper newspaper, were he so inclined.”
David Stoesz - Seattle Weekly
“[H]is craftsmanship—in the tradition of Mad's Don Martin and Nancy creator Ernie Bushmiller—lies in his ability to reduce his drawings to the simplest possible details needed to tell the story. His rants are funny, but the frictionless gag-delivery systems of his panels are an even more effective rebuke to the willful obscurity of contemporary art.”
Robert Boyd - The Great God Pan Is Dead
“These strips are very, very funny, and if they force you to work harder to defend your point of view against Bagge's arguments, is that bad?”
Edward Kaye - Hypergeek
“Bagge delivers intelligent political insights, biting witticism, and irreverent satire. Everything is of course accompanied by Bagge’s instantly recognizable art style, with his gormless looking, bendy-limbed caricatures, which bring everyone down to the same (silly) level. It’s a brilliant piece of work, and perhaps Bagge’s finest achievement to date.”
Publishers Weekly

Bagge made his reputation with the wicked social satire of Hate, but since 2001 he's also produced these short comics for the libertarian magazine Reason-mostly reported pieces about politics and culture, but also some single-page opinion strips. The formula is that Bagge attends some sort of event (the opening of a tribal casino, an "exit strategy for the war on drugs" conference, a lecture by the author of a book about the founding fathers), observes everyone and mocks them mercilessly. His visual style-in which people are all huge-mouthed, squinty-eyed, rubber-limbed caricatures-is turned up all the way to "jeer"; it's also pretty funny on its own. Bagge aims his (constitutionally protected) satirical blunderbuss at both the left and the right, and occasionally points it at fellow libertarians and even himself. He follows up a piece in which he eviscerates self-righteous antiwar protesters with one in which he notes his own failure to do much to oppose the Iraq war. And when he meets with Ron Paul, he observes both that Paul was his favorite candidate in the 2008 primaries and that "the betrayed part of me just wanted to punch him in his kindly old racist-pandering face." (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606991589
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 8/18/2009
  • Pages: 118
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Bagge is the internationally acclaimed creator of Hate and Buddy Bradley; he lives in Seattle, WA.

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