Peter Bagge's libertarian comics for Reason

baggeI used to dislike Tom Tomorrow's comic strip, This Modern World. I'm not entirely sure why it didn't work for me, but I think it is because he would set up right-wing straw people to say exaggerated things to make them look bad. Lately, I've been enjoying his strip a lot more, and I think the reason is because the right-wing is now so outrageous, he doesn't need to exagerate to show how bad they are. The truth is funny without having to embellish it.To me, Peter Bagge is the opposite of Tom Tomorrow. I love the stuff he did for Weirdo, Neat Stuff, and Hate. Now he's doing a libertarian comic strip for Reason, and like a mirror-image Tom Tomorrow, he tries to make his point by exaggerating the kinds of things left-wingers say. And just as Tomorrow's early work wasn't funny, Bagge's recent Reason work doesn't make me laugh either. I did read Bagge's latest Hate Annual and thought he was in top form, so this criticism only applies to his Reason comics. Link

Brian Carnell sez: I thought it was unfair for you to pull that single strip out unqualified and claim that Bagge is just a right wing Tom Tomorrw.

Yes, that strip clearly exaggerates what the Left says for effect, but the difference between Bagge and Tom Tomorrow is that Bagge is an equal-opportunity exaggerator. For example, follow the link for a similar strip that is a caricature of the claims made by right wing supporters of the war on Iraq (I supported the war and I find it funny, but YMMV). He also lampooned libertarians.

The problem with Tom Tomorrow is that he's always caricaturing the Right, but never the Left (at least not that I can remember), unlike Bagge who skewers all sides.

(Mark sez: You're right, Brian!)

kellan sez: The other difference is that Tom Tomorrow often uses direct quotes, not caricature. When he exaggerates its clearly ridiculous (Bush in space fighting aliens), not a borderline, mean-spirited attack at common people.

Abelard sez: I'd love to point out the fallacy of Brian Carnell saying that Tom Tomorrow never skewers anyone on the Left, at least that he can remember. Apparently, his memory does not extend to 2000, and the running GoreBot gags [here and here] Or his occasional lampooning of granola guy. Just wanted to throw that at you – I was somewhat dismayed to see you agree with him on that rather ill-researched point.

Rick sez: I don't know why you and Brian have this idea of Tom Tomorrow of focusing only on the right for his skewerings. His politics aren't exactly secret and aren't meant to be, but he lets the left know when they've struck out. This even includes the Clinton years, the last of these three being an example. [here, here, and here]

(Mark sez: My argument is that Tom Tomorrow probably doesn't consider Clinton or Gore to be left wing. )