Reading Hate in the 1990s was a revelation; Peter Bagge’s chronicle of the not-always-lovable loser Buddy Bradley was the comic-book equivalent of looking in the mirror. Buddy had a cruddy job, he drank too much, he had a craptastic roommate (the horrible Stinky), he had girl trouble -- Buddy’s life was a shambles, albeit a hysterical shambles. Rereading Hate in the double-oughts is pretty much like looking in the same damn mirror -- that’d be much more depressing if we weren’t drunk right now. But we are drunk right now, and we have a copy of Portajohnny to read for laughs, so the world’s all right. Johnny Ryan’s demented and disturbing comics are the soothing balm to our virulent self-hate, which is all one can ask for most days. Bagge and Ryan and their good friend Jim Blanchard invade Star Clipper (6392 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-9110 or tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. for the Fantagraphics “Buddies” Show. Art, books, prints, toys and other ephemera by all three men will fill Star Clipper’s gallery until Saturday, September 29, but the trio only hangs out on Saturday, September 8. So get down there and enjoy them while you can -- after all, you have to go back to work tomorrow.
Sept. 8-29, 2007

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